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New Family Justice Center Opens

Dec 08, 2014
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, Cleveland Municipal Court Administrative and Presiding Judge Ronald B. Adrine, along with City of Cleveland officials and partner agencies, cut the ribbon today for the opening of the new Cuyahoga County Family Justice Center.
For Immediate Release
December 8, 2014
Contacts: Ed Ferenc, ference@cmcoh.org  (216) 664-6787
Christopher Harris, (216) 443-7157


Cuyahoga County and City of Cleveland open first-of-its kind facility to coordinate victim assistance

CLEVELAND
– Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, Cleveland Municipal Court Administrative and Presiding Judge Ronald B. Adrine, along with City of Cleveland officials and partner agencies, cut the ribbon today for the opening of the new Cuyahoga County Family Justice Center.

Click here to watch video of the opening of the new Cuyahoga County Family Justice Center.


“As domestic violence and sexual assault continue to be widespread and underreported problems, it’s important we work side by side as a community and offer a system that supports victims and families in a time of crisis,” said County Executive FitzGerald. “I’m appreciative of the joint efforts of Cuyahoga County Public & Safety Services, the City of Cleveland, the honorable Judge Ronald B. Adrine, and the proud men and women that will staff the new Family Justice Center.”

The Family Justice Center, located at 75 Erieview Plaza, Suite 500, provides a central location for primary legal and social services, all the while providing a comfortable and safe environment. Additional benefits of the Family Justice Center include:

•    One stop center for victims and their children
•    Promotes collaboration, coordinated case management, and increased data and information sharing.
•    Increased victim engagement, which can result in higher rates of prosecution and prevention of re-assault
•    Comprehensive services targeted towards all victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and child/elder abuse

Both Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland have committed $175,000 annually to run the spacious 13,500 square foot venue.



Judge Adrine, who was instrumental in helping bring the Family Justice Center to Cleveland, also realizes the benefits this can have on the community. “After a decade of thinking about this concept and seeing other cities bring Family Justice Centers online, it’s great to see our community’s seven years of hard word come to fruition,” said Judge Adrine.  “The Family Justice Center will allow victims of interpersonal violence to address a multitude of crucial needs in one location, as opposed to running all over town to put their lives back together.”

Initial planning funds for the Family Justice Center were obtained through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). Additional funding was provided by Saint Luke’s Foundation for furnishing and items to make the Family Justice Center feel more like a home, and less like an institution.

“Cuyahoga County's Family Justice Center has truly been a labor of love and we are thrilled that our planning and hard work has come to fruition,” said Witness/Victim Service Center & Family Justice Center Manager Jill Smialek. “We've been fortunate to have committed partners, both public and private, who have shared their expertise, and we are confident that we have designed a center that puts victims and their needs first. Ultimately, people will be safer and move on to healthier lives because this center exists.”

ideastream's Tony Ganzer and Joanna Richards discuss a recent visit to the center - Family Justice Center Offers New Strategy to Help Violence Victims.
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