WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Victim Services Regionalization

Oct 12, 2012

Jason Parrott’s guest on Emphasis is Sue Prochazka, who is the director of the Tri-State Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Abuse.  They talk about how a proposal to regional victim services in Iowa could impact the organization.

The Crime Victim Assistance Division of the Office of Attorney General developed the plan to address years of cuts to state and federal funding.

The plan divides Iowa into six multi-county regions.

There would be three victim services contracts awarded within each region: emergency shelter service, domestic abuse service and sexual abuse service.

Prochazka says the proposed 14-county southeast Iowa region has seven active agencies.  They are located in Davenport, Iowa City (2), Burlington, Keokuk, Muscatine, and Clinton.

She says the directors are stilling trying to determine how and where services will be provided as part of the regionalization plan.

“The state is looking at a variety of funding formulas,” says Prochazka, “based on population or base amounts, so we don’t know what we will get for the region.”

She says the best estimate, at this point, is between $1-million and $1.3-million, which she says is not a lot for 14-counties.

“And then how will that money be contracted out,” says Prochazka.  “What we know is the three major contracts are probably going to be out of Iowa City, with two out of Iowa City and one out of Davenport.”

Prochazka says the budget for the Tri-State Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Abuse has been cut by about 1/3 over the last 6-7 years to about $350,000.

“There will probably only be 1-2 shelter facilities in each region of the state, which is a huge decline in shelter facilities.  That means, for our program, that our shelter will probably close.”

Prochazka says that makes it even more important to keep the rest of the services provided by the coalition available, through contracting with the larger agencies in the region.

She says the Iowa Legislature has yet to weigh in on the regionalization plan, even as a one-year transition period is scheduled to begin on July 1, 2013.