The Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office is opening a Community Collaboration Center (CCC) in the Workforce Development Center at Wards Corner.
The CCC supports the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the City by having a small group of prosecutors evaluate and integrate specialized resources and programs into the daily prosecution of cases. The prosecutors are responsible for representing the Commonwealth in Norfolk Circuit Court’s Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and Offender Re-Entry Court programs. In addition, the CCC follows the guidelines of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA, http://www.apainc.org) for community prosecution – a philosophy that encourages collaboration between prosecutors, criminal justice partners, and the community to develop safer neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life of citizens.
Examples of CCC work:
- Lethality Assessment Protocol – A risk assessment tool utilized by the Norfolk Police Department when officers respond to domestic violence situations. LAP helps increase victim safety, reduce the risk of lethality, increase aggressor accountability, and provide victims with immediate connections to resources like shelters.
- Virginia Rules – An educational program we implemented in Norfolk Public Schools to help students understand the importance of making good decisions and the consequences of making poor decisions. This is done through a series of lesson plans on a variety of topics developed by the Virginia Attorney General’s Office. Topics include gang awareness, dating violence, and internet safety.
Linda Bryant is a Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Director of the CCC. With 15+ years of prosecutorial experience here in Norfolk, she has the knowledge base and perspective to carry out the work of the CCC. Greg Underwood, Commonwealth’s Attorney, firmly believes the CCC is an important extension of the Office – enabling his office to remain deeply committed to their duty of criminal prosecution while fully recognizing the importance of crime prevention initiatives in Norfolk. Physically being located outside of downtown in a satellite office of sorts will increase our accessibility to citizens with public safety/criminal justice needs. Another connectivity goal of the CCC is to recognize citizens may not need our assistance, but that we can facilitate contact with the correct department/agency.
A grand opening is scheduled for Thursday, 11/1, from 4pm-5pm at the Norfolk Workforce Development Center (NWDC). The program, which will include the ribbon cutting, will be brief but meaningful and will be followed by a simple reception. They are expecting at least 100 people; Mayor Paul Fraim, City Manager Marcus Jones, and Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe have confirmed they’ll be attending. Civic league members should feel free to attend.