NASHVILLE – The Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP) will help Overton County celebrate today with the grand opening of a new Family Justice Center. The Overton County Upper Cumberland Family Justice Center in Livingston is the second facility of its kind in the 13th Judicial District; they bring together services for victims of domestic abuse, elder abuse and sexual assault and exploitation.
“This has been more than two years of a lot of work from members of the Overton County community,” Finance and Administration Assistant Commissioner Buddy Lea said. “Advocacy groups, local government officials and agencies and all other members of this community were willing to step up and work to make today a reality. In state government, we are amazed at the local dedication to providing this space for victims where they can get all the services they need and have this safety net to help them survive and recover.”
The first center Family Justice Center opened in Knoxville in 2006; grand opening will be held on July 22 for a center at Brownsville in Haywood County, bringing the number of FJCs in Tennessee to 13, more than all except one other state.
In addition to Overton County, FJCs are located in Anderson, Claiborne, Davidson, Hamilton, Haywood, Knox, Madison, Putnam, Scott, Shelby, Sullivan and Washington counties. Since the Tennessee Family Justice Center Initiative started in 2012, federal funding from OCJP has totaled more than $15 million.
A Family Justice Center is a community-wide collaboration of public and nonprofit agencies providing co-located, wraparound services in one safe, convenient and family-friendly location. In addition to benefiting victims and their families, the FJC model benefits the broader community by reducing competition and redundancy among stakeholders.
The OCJP functions as a strategic planning agency that secures, distributes, and manages federal and state funds for Tennessee, including Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds and STOP Violence Against Women Program (STOP) funds.