Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse may soon have easier access to a wide range of support services, thanks to a new public-private initiative announced by Ada County Commissioner Judy Peavey-Derr during the state of Ada County address on Wednesday, March 16. Local mayors, county commissioners and some 400 local citizens packed the DoubleTree Riverside to hear the discussion, the first state of the county address in the 115-year history of Ada County.
"Victims ... will be able to come to this facility, obtain critical counseling, legal services, brochures, medical care and aid, and all under one roof," Peavey-Derr said of the proposed facility, whose private sector partners include St. Lukes' and St. Alphonsus regional medical centers, Idaho Health and Welfare, several local women's groups, the cities of Boise, Garden City and Meridian, and law enforcement and prosecutors from the various cities and the county. The center is proposed to be located in the Smith Building at the corner of Myrtle and Sixth Street in downtown Boise, which Ada County has since announced it has agreed to lease.
The justice center is modeled after a facility in Mesa, Ariz., and will provide comparable services to an existing justice center in Canyon County. In Mesa, Peavey-Derr claimed, the justice center has effectively cut the amount of processing time a victim is subjected to after a crime by over seven hours. "The end result is the healing of the victim starts sooner and the legal process leading to convictions is more efficient and accurate," she said. "This is huge."
Also in the address, Peavey-Derr outlined plans to revamp parking, trails and inner-tube rental services at Barber Park, which she called "The crown jewel of Ada County." She also announced the County's intentions to expand the Boise Greenbelt and to set aside approximately 228 acres in the Boise Foothills for an expansion of trails and recreational areas. To view a film of the complete address, visit www.ktvb.com.