Northwest Louisiana Family Justice Initiative
The center once operational will be housed in a building at 1513 Doctors Drive donated by Willis-Knighton Health System. The building previously was occupied by Bossier Parish Community College's physical therapy program.
The center will provide counseling for domestic violence victims, assistance in filing protective orders and security planning and help with medical care, substance abuse treatment and housing issues.
No opening date has been released—
District Attorney J. Schuyler Marvin said, “ Once the center secures federal funding, he hopes to offer additional services through the Bossier and Webster Sheriff's Offices, the Bossier City Police Department, Willis-Knighton Health System and other area health care providers and local groups.”
Paraphrased from The Bossier Press Tribune, March 10, 2008
For the latest news on the Northwest Louisiana Family Justice Center Initiative, please visit shreveporttimes.com
For a list of resources available to victims of Domestic Violence CLICK HERE.
HOW THE INITIATIVE GOT STARTED STARTED
In 2003, during District Attorney J. Schuyler Marvin’s first elected term as the District Attorney for the 26th Judicial District, the concept of the Family Justice Center for Northwest Louisiana grew out of the subcommittee of Faith-Based and Grass-Roots Advisory Committee. District Attorney J. Schuyler Marvin established the Faith-based and Grass-Roots Advisory Committee to build coalitions, stretch resources, and find ways to effectively address the revitalization of communities in Northwest Louisiana.
The inspiration for a Family Justice Center in Northwest Louisiana was two visionaries, Beth Chumley, Executive Director of the Council for the Advancement of Social Services and Education (CASSE), and Mr. Angelo A. Roppolo, a local businessman and entrepreneur who now serves on the District Attorney’s Family Justice Center of Northwest Louisiana’s Executive Committee. These two individuals always – if not in union – expressed the need for Northwest Louisiana to establish a Family Justice Center, a shelter, or some means to specifically serve the victims of domestic violence and their families.
CASSE Joins The Initiative
The Faith-based and Grass-Roots Advisory Committees for the 26th Judicial District and CASSE collaborated to offer the first Faith-based and Grass-roots Conference which was addressed by a representative from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women. The Office of Violence Against Women awarded the first grant for Northwest Louisiana to assist faith-based and grass-roots community organizations to partner with local law enforcement for the purpose of assisting victims of domestic violence and their families. Following this conference several luncheons were sponsored by CASSE and the District Attorney’s Office for the 26th Judicial District. The purpose was to recruit and train these organizations and secure their commitment to offer services for the victims of domestic violence. These luncheons were expanded to include training sessions which were attended by statewide legislators. Eventually CASSE and the 26th Judicial District partnered with the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Louisiana to continue training for these organizations and establish the partnership with local law enforcement for Northwest Louisiana.
The Dream Comes Alive
On September 12, 2006, when Kimberly Miceli, Chief Financial Officer and Lee Clemons, Special Assistant to the District Attorney, were attending a Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement Meeting in New Orleans, the possibility of this dream becoming a reality took hold. It was announced and approved at the time by the Commission that the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans would be receiving $1,899,756 Grant from the U.S. Justice Department to establish a Family Justice Center. After that meeting, Lee Clemons, Kimberly Miceli, and Mrs. Christola Walton, a past LCLE Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Advisory Board Member, met with Mrs. Judy (Mouton) Dupy, Executive Director of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, to determine if the Commission would assist the District Attorney’s office in acquiring a Family Justice Center in Northwest Louisiana. Mrs. Dupy’s response was very positive:
“The Commission will work with the District Attorney’s office to secure funding if the District Attorney’s Office could meet the guidelines laid out by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Violence Against Women.”
Upon returning to Shreveport, a meeting with Mrs. Chumley, Mr. Roppolo and Minister Charlie Davis, President of the District Attorney’s Faith-Based and Grass-Roots Advisory Board, was called to report this exciting possibility. The meeting was held at Mr. Roppolo’s downtown office in Shreveport, Louisiana. During that meeting, Mrs. Chumley discussed her visit to the Family Justice Center in San Diego, California and her visit to the Family Justice Center in Monroe, Louisiana. Additionally, Lee Clemons discussed his visit to the Family Justice Center in Monroe, Louisiana. The outcome of the meeting was to move forward in establishing a Family Justice Center in Northwest Louisiana.
To accomplish this goal, representatives from the 26th Judicial District and CASSE attended the 2008 Annual Family Justice Center Conference in San Diego, California sponsored by the Office of Violence Against Women. Following the Conference, representatives were brought to Northwest Louisiana to train faith-based and grass-roots community organizations for the purpose of establishing a Family Justice Center in Northwest Louisiana.