Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Office of District Attorney



September 8, 2003


October 7, 2003



Honorable Board of Supervisors


James P. Fox, District Attorney


Application for Renewal of the Spousal Abuser Prosecution Program Grant



Adopt a resolution authorizing submission of an application to the Department of Justice for grant funds in the amount of $114,040 for the Spousal Abuser Prosecution Program for FY2003-2004.



AB801, Chapter 599, Statutes of 1994, authorized funding to be allocated by the Department of Justice for a statewide Spousal Abuser Prosecution Program (SAPP). The SAPP program was previously established by Statute in 1985 under Section 273.8 of the California Penal Code. This established a prosecution program focusing on defendants under arrest for domestic violence.



In October 1994, the District Attorney and staff made a presentation to the Board regarding domestic violence and the efforts of the District Attorney's Special Prosecutions Unit, which handled domestic violence vertical prosecutions. Shortly after that presentation, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Spousal Abuser Prosecution Program solicitation of interest document to all District Attorney's Offices throughout the State. The subject grant program was established in the spring of 1995 and an application is required each year to receive funds through the Department of Justice.


From the inception of the grant program in 1995 through June 30, 2003, the Domestic Violence Victim Advocates have provided in excess of 31,000 service contracts to victims of domestic violence. Since May 1999, both of the DV Advocates have been bilingual in Spanish and have been able to provide bilingual and bicultural advocacy whenever needed. The service contacts include counseling, support, referrals, assistance with restraining orders and other protective measures and court accompaniment. These services, that inherently facilitate effective prosecution of domestic violence, are provided by the two victim advocates funded by the grant.


Because the services provided by this unit are critically important both to the victims and the success of the prosecutions, if State funding is restricted or eliminated by the legislature in the future, the District Attorney's Office would request authorization from the Board to provide offsetting revenue to maintain the program in its present form.



The grant with the Department of Justice keeps the commitment of Ensure Basic Health and Safety for All and goal number 8: Help vulnerable people - the aged, disabled, mentally ill, at-risk youth and others - achieve a better quality of life. This grant contributes to this commitment and goal by assisting those who are victimized due to domestic violence.



Funding for this program includes partial salaries for two Domestic Violence Advocates. For FY2003-04 the DOJ requires submission of a proposal totaling $114,040, with DOJ funding of $95,033 and a 20% match from the County of San Mateo of $19,007. This is a 9% reduction in previous funding from the DOJ. The DOJ funding will cover 81% of the salaries of the Advocates. An additional 16% of their salaries are covered by match funds. This results in a total projected net county cost of $39,940. Funds have been included in the FY2003-2004 Recommended Budget to cover these additional costs.