Additional funding could be coming for
one local non-profit organization.
CASA (Court Appointed Special
Advocates) Monroe promotes and supports court-appointed volunteer
advocacy to represent the best interests of children who find
themselves in the court system because of abuse or neglect. Since
taking its first sibling case of three children in 2008, CASA Monroe
has grown to advocate for nearly 400 children.
Unfortunately, due to funding, CASA
Monroe is unable to help all the child who go through the juvenile
court system in Monroe County.
"As a non-profit agency that relies
primarily on donations, grants and fundraising, we are always looking
for new avenues of sustainability," said CASA Monroe Executive
Director Alisa Hobbs.
In 2011, there were 384 children served
by the Monroe County Juvenile Court. Of those children, CASA Monroe
was only able to serve 109 of them.
"This is unacceptable, not only to us
at CASA Monroe, but also to the citizens of Monroe County," said
Hobbs. "Our goal is to serve 100 percent of the children who come
into the juvenile court system due to abuse or neglect."
But, a Tennessee State Law could create
additional funds for the local organization.
Tennessee Code Annotated 40-24-109
provides that a county legislative body may elect to establish a
Victims' Assistance Litigation Tax to assist victims of crime, their
families and survivors by providing additional funding for an
existing program established to assist victims.
"It has come to our attention that
there is a Tennessee state law, which authorizes county governments
to assess a $45 litigation tax to those who plead guilty or are found
guilty of certain crimes," said Hobbs. "Of this amount, $42 goes
into a fund for eligible non-profits and $3 goes back into the
Circuit Court Clerk's fund."
See full story in the Sunday, Dec. 9, edition of The Advocate & Democrat.