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State’s crime victim services commission speaks out against moving resources

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Flickr User Joe Ross https://flic.kr/p/96viqc
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Attorney General, Bill Schuette

A portion of the state Senate budget is getting pushback from the Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission.

The Senate voted to move crime victim services out of the Department of Health and Human Services – and into the Attorney General’s Office.

Republican Senator John Proos proposed the Senate budget amendment asking for the change. He says a lot of states house their crime victim resources in the Attorney General’s Office.

“The Attorney General with the role and responsibility of being the top law enforcement official in the state, it seems the most logical place for that.”

The programs, services and grant money for crime victims in the state needs to stay in the Department of Health and Human Services. That’s the message of the Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission.

Committee member James McCurtis is the director of Crime Victim Services at the Michigan Department of Community Health. He says the department of Health and Human Services gives the programs access to inter-related programs like mental health treatment.

“So we want to make sure that we can provide that comprehensive approach to making victims whole again right here in one department.”

Members of the commission argue that the current system is working. They say keeping the programs and services in the health department means there are more opportunities to connect victims with other government agencies, like mental health.