- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Justice has chosen Jefferson County as one of seven pilot sites for a program to improve the justice system’s response to sex assaults.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama said the justice department is providing the Jefferson County Commission with $400,000 to establish a specialized unit within the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office to better coordinate the investigation and prosecution of sex assaults.

Officials say the unit will include a bilingual investigator, a special prosecutor and a rape response advocate. The unit will also develop a training program for prosecutors and law enforcement.

Officials say the program is also meant to support collaboration among sex assault victim service providers, law enforcement and others.

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