Georgia Department of Corrections
Brian Owens, Commissioner
Director of Public Affairs
Contact: Office of Public Affairs (404) 656-9772
For Immediate Release
$500,000 Awarded to Aid in Child Sexual Predator Program
Atlanta - The Georgia Department of Corrections is proud to announce that it has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The grant funds will be used to locate and prosecute absconded sex offenders.
In order to be considered as a recipient of the grant, an agency must first be nominated. The Department of Corrections was nominated by Mr. Richard Mecum, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Georgia. COPS awarded a total of $11.4 million in grants to support partnerships between state or local government agencies and their U.S. Attorney’s and U.S. Marshal’s offices that focus on reducing child endangerment. The funds were awarded to 26 state and local agencies nationwide. The Department of Corrections was one of only three agencies to receive the entire grant amount of $500,000.
“We are committed to effective community supervision,” said Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens. “The very core of our mission statement is rooted in public safety, and this grant will go a long way in supporting that mission,” added Owens.
The grant will be used by the Department of Corrections to establish a Sex Offender Apprehension Team. This team will enhance the Department’s ability to locate and arrest sex offenders currently wanted for violation of the conditions of their probation, as well as new criminal law violations. Consisting of five Probation Officers and one Intelligence Analyst, the team will partner with the U.S.M.S. Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF) for the specific purpose of locating and arresting these wanted sex offenders. The Department will also partner with the U.S.M.S. Sex Offender Branch via two Deputy U.S. Marshals assigned to the SERFTF. These partnerships will provide the Department with a nationwide network of support from U.S.M.S. Regional and District Fugitive Task Forces.
The creation of a Sex Offender Apprehension Team will allow the state to be more aggressive in regards to its sex offender apprehension procedures. This multi-jurisdictional task force approach to the apprehension of wanted sex offenders will benefit the entire state of Georgia by enhancing public safety for the citizens of Georgia.The Department of Corrections is the fourth largest prison system in the United States and is responsible for supervising nearly 60,000 state prisoners and over 160,000 probationers. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 14,000 employees.