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County expanding crime victim services

MEDIA RELEASE

Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Iboshi has announced the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney will expand crime victims’ services by six positions as part of the state Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI).

The JRI stems from Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s collaboration with the Judiciary, state Department of Public Safety, U.S. Justice Department, the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the state Legislature, to develop a comprehensive plan to save $7 million by reducing mainland prisoner contracts, reduce spending on corrections, and reinvesting the savings to fill key unfilled positions, train in best practices, support treatment programs in the community and more supervision efforts.

The six JRI positions include two victim counselors, two counselor assistants and two legal clerks. Three of each position will be placed in the Hilo and Kona Offices of the Prosecuting Attorney, respectively. The JRI funds will pay for currently existing but vacant unfunded positions within the County of Hawaii.

Iboshi thanked Mayor Billy Kenoi, county departments of Planning and Parks & Recreation, and the County Council for their support.

“Without their support and cooperation, we could not accept the state funds, and the community would have been negatively impacted,” Iboshi said. “They are concerned about safety and worried about medical bills or recovering losses arising from the crime.”

Currently, the Prosecutor’s Victim Assistance Unit provides outreach to victims of violent crime and provides services through the end of prosecution. With the JRI positions, the VAU will expand its services to include outreach to victims of property crime and continue its services through the offender’s incarceration or supervision period.

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