Polk County victim's advocacy agencies get money seized from criminal activity

POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - It is quite the poetic justice when funds seized from those who have committed crimes are used to fund the agencies that help victims of crimes.

The Polk County Criminal District Attorney recently awarded thousands of dollars in such funds to three victim's advocacy groups.

It was an unexpected but much needed and valued gift, in a time where funding for non-profits always seems to be on the chopping block.

"It was a real nice surprise from the district attorney Lee Hon. He actually called me  up and said hey Susie, could y'all use a little money and I thought he was joking and said well yeah we could," said Susie Adams, executive director of Children's Haven.

But it wasn't, Polk County Criminal District Attorney Lee Hon awarded CASA, SAAFE House and Children's Haven $5,000 each.

And what's even more interesting is where the money came from.

"Most of it is proceeds of drug activities as you might expect," said Hon. "Routinely when the proceeds of criminal activities are seized by law enforcement our office initiates legal proceedings to have the money awarded to the state."

"There's nothing more poetically justified in my book than actual money raised from those who have committed crimes will end up helping victims. It's perfect," said Adams.

Hon says this is the first time his office has tried to assist all 3 agencies at the same time.

"We work very closely with all 3 victim's advocacy groups. They all have a unique and important role in the criminal justice system in terms of the service they provide to victims who we see in our office," said Hon.

The funds couldn't have come at a better time for executive director of SAAFE House, Jolene Miller who says the shelter lost $40,000 in grant funding this year.

Adams says they're just beginning their fundraising campaign for this fiscal year and this money is a great start.

"You work and work and work for the fundraiser and maybe you bring in $5,000 so to just have that money brought in without that kind of work is terrific," said Adams.

"Obviously there is an important need that's being serviced by those agencies for crime victims and so if anybody should benefit from some kind of money I think victims are certainly right there at the top of the list."

Hon says Polk County law enforcement really deserve the credit because they're the ones making the cases and seizures that allow them to have access to this type of funding.

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