Oklahoma County Juvenile Bureau Awarded Grant from Oklahoma Bar Foundation
The Oklahoma County Juvenile Bureau recently received the Oklahoma Bar Foundation (OBF) Court Grant Award for Physical Court Improvements. The funds from the grant were used to build a new waiting area for persons attending juvenile court hearings. On Tuesday, May 11 at 10:00 a.m., a ceremony will take place at the Oklahoma County Juvenile Bureau to officially open the new waiting area. A plaque, presented by the OBF, will be unveiled to commemorate the event.
Before the improvements, there was one glassed in area for victims, alleged perpetrators, families, foster parents and attorneys to await court. This was an extremely dangerous environment. The waiting area was previously crowded and noisy. Consequently, privacy and confidentiality was non-existent for the victims. The cases waiting to be heard are often volatile, and those awaiting court are often emotional.
The new enclosure will allow victims and witnesses to be separated from alleged perpetrators and their families while waiting for court to begin.
“Receipt of this grant will be extremely beneficial in the attempt to serve the at-risk youth in Oklahoma County,” said Kimberly Grafa, Oklahoma County Juvenile Bureau Community Liaison.
Originally established in 1946, the Oklahoma Bar Foundation (OBF) is the third oldest state bar foundation in the United States. OBF membership is comprised of those persons duly licensed to practice law in the State of Oklahoma. The charitable purposes of the OBF are accomplished through annual grants that advance the science of jurisprudence and promote the administration of justice throughout Oklahoma. The stated mission of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation is “Lawyers Transforming Lives through the advancement of education, citizenship and justice for all.”
“It is a privilege and a blessing for the lawyers of Oklahoma to be able to give back to the community, through the Oklahoma Bar Foundation,” said OBF President Phil Frazier. “OBF congratulates the Oklahoma County Juvenile Bureau on fulfilling such a critical and essential service.”
Participants at the commemorative ceremony will include Lawrence Hicks, Oklahoma County Juvenile Bureau Director; Kimberly Grafa, Community Liaison; Judge Richard Kirby, Administrative Judge, Juvenile Division; OBF Grants & Awards Chair, Hon. Valerie Couch; OBF President Phil Frazier and OBF Director Nancy Norsworthy.