District Attorney's Office awarded grant to improve services for crime victims
The Benton County District Attorney’s (DA's) Office was awarded $34,066 from the Victims of Crime Act Support Services and Training Grant (VOCA-SST). The VOCA-SST Grant provides funding for several different areas relating to crime victimization including training and emergency services.
The grant award will be used for various projects. One of the larger projects includes the development and implementation of a multimedia lending library, which focuses on resources and materials addressing crime victimization, trauma, and recovery. The materials will be available for crime victims to check out or may be used in the District Attorney’s Office utilizing technology also purchased under this grant.
One of the areas funded by the grant will help facilitate communication with crime victims who have limited English language proficiency. Crime Victim Advocates will be able to utilize interpreter services, either in person or via the Language Line, with these victims to bridge the language barrier and ensure victims receive information about the criminal justice system, case status, and resources in their native language. In addition, the grant may provide travel assistance for crime victims in current criminal cases who are not under subpoena as a witness, but wish to participate meaningfully in the criminal justice process.
This grant opportunity will enable the District Attorney’s Office to set up a workstation with a computer for victims to access the application for the Oregon Crime Victim’s Compensation Program. The program works to ease the financial burden suffered by hundreds of Oregonians each year. Benefits for victims and their families include counseling expenses; medical and hospital expenses; medical devices; rehabilitation expenses; loss of earnings; funeral expenses; and, other expenses. By providing victims access to the online Crime Victims’ Compensation application while they’re in the DA’s Office, Crime Victim Advocates are better able to serve the needs of the victim and facilitate a prompt response from the Crime Victim's Compensation Program.
VOCA-SST will also provide funds for training opportunities for Crime Victim Advocates, including sending three Crime Victim Advocates to the State Victims’ Assistance Academy (SVAA) which is the primary source of statewide training for victim advocates. Additional training focusing on best practices and the delivery of trauma informed services will be provided monthly and made available to all District Attorney staff members in addition to the Crime Victim Advocates.