JSU to Launch Safety Program with Department of Justice Grant
Jacksonville State University will launch a campus safety program with heavy emphasis on crime prevention and victim support services as a result of a $300,000 grant awarded to the university by the US Department of Justice.
Since 2014, JSU has applied for campus safety grant funding on three previous occasions. It is now one of only 50 universities nationwide to receive this coveted $300,000 award. Dr. Christie Shelton, JSU provost and vice president for academic affairs, made the public announcement to the Board of Trustees on Oct. 22.
“We are proud to announce this momentous grant, which will help fund our collective efforts to unite students, faculty, law enforcement and the community - and hopefully provide a prevention program that can expand to other universities and communities,” said Shelton.
Over the next three years - and in keeping with grant recipient guidelines - grant funds will be used to enhance victim services, interventions, mandated training of students on prevention education, bystander intervention, and a continuation of training for all JSU employees, law enforcement and disciplinary staff.
“These efforts will enable us to build a stronger culture of interpersonal respect,” added Shelton. “We will not only implement new prevention programs, but we will expand victim support services - including legal, medical, financial and counseling assistance - with an additional goal of reducing incidents of crime through early identification and intervention efforts.”
To ensure a collaborative approach to success, JSU will partner with off-campus victim services, such as 2nd Chance, as well as local law enforcement agencies and the Cleburne and Calhoun Counties’ district attorney’s office. With their assistance, the university hopes to further enhance an embedded, community-wide culture of respect that permeates all societal and individual levels.
Ultimately, the grant will allow JSU to build improved current campus programs in need of expansion and enhancement.
“We have worked tirelessly over the past five years to establish prevention and victim services programs because we are committed to providing a safe environment for our students and everyone on campus,” said Shelton. “This grant will allow us to take our existing prevention and response efforts to the next level.”
The university hopes to replicate this model with future plans to coordinate with other colleges and universities in the surrounding area.