State's Attorney's New Violence Prevention Programs Approved by Lake County Board

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Lake County State's Attorneys Office


March 8, 2022


For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Spagnolo
(224) 374-2376


State's Attorney's Office's New Violence Prevention Programs Approved by Lake County Board


(Lake County, IL) - On Tuesday, the Lake County Board approved two new programs for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office (LCSAO). Both programs will start this year and serve State’s Attorney Rinehart’s goal of increasing funding and resources dedicated to violence prevention. The first, a Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) awarded by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), would create a Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership (DVPP) with the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic (NSLAC).

The second program is a Gun Violence Prevention Initiative directly awarded by the County Board with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). These programs mark the sixth successful new grant proposal awarded to the LCSAO and the third successful ARPA award over the past year.

The Domestic Violence Prevention Partnership includes an emergency appropriation of $200,000 in federal funds for one year. The LCSAO, acting as the lead agency, will collaborate with NSLAC to reduce intimate partner violence, creating treatment opportunities exclusively for first time misdemeanor offenders and providing comprehensive services for victims. The funding will pay for a full-time DVPP Coordinator in the State’s Attorney’s Office, training for staff, outreach materials, and a full-time staff attorney at NSLAC dedicated to providing legal assistance for victims.

“Since 2017, domestic violence has been on the rise in Lake County,” Rinehart said. “With this treatment program and partnership with North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic we will join with other collar counties, like Kane, in reducing incidents of domestic violence while also providing support and legal assistance to survivors.”  

“We are grateful to all of the decision-makers who saw the worth and potential to the community and particularly to survivors of intimate partner violence in deterrence over incarceration. This partnership with the State’s Attorney will do so much good and has unlimited potential. Thank you so much to everyone who worked on this grant. We cannot wait to get to work,” said Rebecca Weininger, Director of Domestic Violence Law Practice at NSLAC.

The Gun Violence Prevention Initiative (GVPI) is a direct ARPA award from the Lake County Board and provides the State’s Attorney’s Office with $560,000 for the program’s operation. State’s Attorney Rinehart worked with Lake County Administrative staff and the Finance & Administration Committee to seek funding from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) apportionment. This funding will be used to hire a full-time Director of the GVPI who is tasked with identifying and providing micro-grant funding to capable community-based organizations that will manage teams of violence interrupters in targeted areas around the county. The Mayors of Waukegan, Zion, and North Chicago were all presented with this plan by State’s Attorney Rinehart and submitted letters to the Lake County Board in support of its creation.

“In 2021, my office secured funding for a Violent Crimes Unit that would allow our most experienced prosecutors to immediately collaborate with police agencies on the most serious cases, such as murders and shootings. The GVPI’s work will be to prevent those incidents from ever happening and to prevent the cycle of retaliation,” Rinehart stated. “While violence prevention work is not something typically overseen by a prosecutor’s office, I believe our office is uniquely situated to address the causes of violence on a countywide level.”

The funding is expected to be available by April 2022, and Rinehart indicated that he will be staffing the unit as quickly as possible in consultation with First Assistant State’s Attorney Sharmila Manak and staff. The State’s Attorney’s Office will be finalizing protocols surrounding the GVPI in the next few months and will be implementing a rigorous vetting process to identify those organizations who will receive funding to hire violence interrupters. The State’s Attorney’s Office recently applied for additional funding through the state’s R3 Program, in order to provide more sustainability to the GVPI.



Lake County State's Attorney's Office
18 N. County Street
Waukegan, IL 60085  
Phone: (847) 377-3000