HARRISBURG — Attorney General Shapiro today announced a unique, unprecedented grant-funded partnership between the Office of Attorney General and the Office of Victim Advocate, focused on ensuring comprehensive victim services to crime victims and collaborating with county-based victim services agencies.
“The Office of Attorney General recognizes that we need a full-time individual dedicated to supporting victims of crimes across Pennsylvania. This grant funds that critical, newly-created position in my office,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “We’re proud to work with the Office of Victim Advocate to ensure that crime victims receive the information, attention and services they deserve.”
“The Office of Victim Advocate is thrilled to enter into this important partnership with the Office of Attorney General to ensure that all crime victims receive appropriate and timely delivery of victim services,” said Jennifer Storm, Victim Advocate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. “We strongly believe this partnership will a fill a gap in service and provide for seamless and equal access to victim service regardless of where the case is prosecuted.”
The $250,000 competitive grant, which was funded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund, was approved for 30 months, with the goal of continuation. VOCA is a federally funded, non-taxpayer dollar grant that is supported by fines and costs from federal criminal offenders. The grant will underwrite a victim advocate position in the Office of Attorney General, plus benefits and travel costs associated with the position.
“In this new position, I will be providing direct services to all crime victims whose cases fall under the jurisdiction of the Office of Attorney General, including crisis intervention, supportive counseling, case status updates, and accompaniment to court events,” said Annette Gantz, Victim Assistance Coordinator placed in the Office of Attorney General. “My role is also about facilitating communication between county based-victim services and the staff within the Office of Attorney General, ensuring continuity of care for all crime victims.”
The Attorney General is Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement official, with a wide range of responsibilities to protect and serve the citizens and agencies of the Commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate is dedicated to representing, protecting and advancing the individual and collective rights and interests of crime victims.
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