08/17/2012 12:41 EDT | Updated 10/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Jonathan Denis Puts Proceeds Of Crime Cash Towards Alberta Day Camps, Victim Support


EDMONTON - A fund that is fed from crime proceeds seized by the Alberta government is doling out more money to groups that help victims of crime.

Justice Minister Jonathan Denis said 12 projects for victims or which aim to prevent crime have received a total of $1.6 million.

They include cultural day camps for at-risk youth and several projects that offer support and services to crime victims.

"We're hitting organized crime where it hurts the most — in their pocketbook. And then what happens from that, we're giving this money to organizations that actually can help through our society ... individuals who are in need," Denis said at a news conference on Friday.

Legislation that allows the government to seize assets from criminal activity was introduced in 2008.

Common examples of forfeited property include vehicles, drug houses and cash.

Denis said putting the proceeds back into the community can help break the crime cycle. The programs will help groups such as newcomers to Canada, adolescent girls and aboriginals, he said.

"We're not providing it directly to police organizations, but rather to organizations throughout our community that can help, particularly young people, make positive choices," Denis said.

"And when there have been incidents, for example sexual abuse, we want to be there to assist the victims. The focus again, is on the victims."