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A dozen community groups are benefiting from the province seizing assets from organized crime.
For four years now the province has been running its civil forfeiture program. Friday, the other half of that equation saw $1.61 million distributed to victims of crime.
"We're hitting organized crime where it hurts the most, in the pocket book." said Jonathan Denis.
"And what happens from that is we're giving this money to organizations that actually can help through out our society in the four corners of this province that can help individuals who are in need."
"Some examples, you have vehicles that are seized that are involved in gang or drug activity. There's even been in some cases houses that have been siezed and sold as a result of this type of activity as well."
"This is since 2008 when Premier Redford announced the new legislation at that time when she was Justice Minister."
Photo: 630 CHED's Scott Johnston
Shortly after the program was announced, it was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada which ruled the province was with in its rights to run the program said Denis.
"We're not providing it directly to police organizations, but rather to organizations through out our community that can help particularly young people make positive choices. When there are have been examples of for instance sexual assaults, we want to be there to assist the victims. The focus again is on the victims."
The Elizabeth Fry Society is receiving $50,000 for its Girls Empowered and Strong program.
Elizabeth Darrell says a part time worker will be hired to talk to teen age girls who have been identified by guidance counselors and principals as having problems.
"They would say we have a need, we have a group of eight to ten girls who are really struggling in school, their family lives are not so stable, they have support but maybe not enough support so we want you to come in and do a work shop on self esteem, self harm and body image to help them get more resources, have an outside person come in and speak to them about that."
The Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton will conduct a study looking at helping youth steer clear of criminal activity.
"We want to study if its related to a single parenting kind of thing.," said society president Jibril Ibrahim, who says they'll look to see if Somali youth born in Canada react differently to those who immigrate here.
"Another issue might be a lack of help in the school system. You don't want to see them drop schooling and don't have the prospect of getting a job, then you're going to see them getting into a situation like this."
Other funding will go to the Maskwacis Victim Services Society, for an Aboriginal Outreach Specialist, as it'll help the four communities of Samson , Ermineskin Louis Bull and Montana in Hobbema with referrals in the immediate hours after a traumatic incident happens.
Since the civil forfeiture program was instituted in 2008, $4.4 million has been seized and distributed to victims of crime. (sj, lk)