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reporters@samoanews.com

MENTAL CARE FACILITY TO BREAK GROUND IN 2012

American Samoa will finally move forward this year with the construction of a Mental Health facility, which would address the High Court's long standing concern that no such facility exists in the territory to house inmates with mental issues.

The four-story facility will be constructed in the Tafuna area with funding from Capital Improvement Projects through the U.S. Department of Interior.

“This mental health care institution will cost $3.2 million and will increase our local infrastructure capacity to care for the mentally infirm,” said Gov. Togiola Tulafono.

LOCAL ATTORNEY GENERAL JOINS COLLEAGUES IN CALLING FOR FUNDING

Attorney General Fepuleai A. Ripley has joined attorney generals from all states and territories in signing a letter urging the U.S. Congress for re-authorization of the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was last reauthorized in 2006.

“Reauthorizing VAWA will send a clear message that this country does not tolerate violence against women and show Congress’ commitment to reducing domestic violence, protecting women from sexual assault and securing justice for victims,” the letter states.

“The fight to protect women from violence is one that never ends. It is not a year-to-year issue, which is why we think it is critical that Congress reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act,” it says. “We know a great deal more about domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking than we did 17 years ago.”

The attorney generals, who are all members of the National Association of Attorneys General, stressed that reauthorizing VAWA “will allow us to build on those lessons and continue to make progress and save lives.”

American Samoa’s previous VAWA, which is provided by the U.S. Justice Department, is administered by the local Criminal Justice Planning Agency (CJPA).



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