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Grants totalling more than $4 million expand institute’s legal services for crime victims

November 11, 2008

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    Meg Garvin, executive director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute

National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) has received two grants totaling more than $4.3 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to support crime victims. One grant will allow NCVLI to aid more crime victims by opening four new law clinics around the country and another grant will help the institute provide training and legal technical assistance to agencies assisting victims of stalking as well as domestic, sexual, and dating violence.

“The size of these grants speaks volumes about our efforts to help victims of crime,” said Meg Garvin, executive director of NCVLI. “It will allow us to increase the capacity of our national network by 50 percent. It means that every day an additional 200 victims of crime may be able to receive free legal help.”

Four new clinics

The U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime has awarded NCVLI $4.2 million to support its network of eight legal clinics and allow them to open new clinics in four more jurisdictions. The clinics provide free legal services to crime victims in state and federal criminal cases.

Each clinic serves approximately 50 victims at any given time, helping them access a judicial system that is not designed to assist crime victims through the process. Since launching in 2004, NCVLI’s network of clinics has represented more than 1,000 crime victims in criminal courts and trained more than 15,000 criminal justice professionals.

The clinic network currently includes clinics in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina and Utah. NCVLI will issue a request for proposals in December to begin the process of identifying the new states in which to launch clinics.

“The Office for Victims of Crime has been critical to our launch and our growth over the last six years,” Garvin said. “There are thousands of crime victims struggling with the judicial process—many of them unable to afford legal assistance and our ongoing relationship is helping hundreds of victims seek justice and become survivors.”

Violence against women

A two-year grant from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women totaling $150,000 will focus on the rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence. NCVLI will provide training and assistance to agencies that help these victims.

“Because the Violence Against Women Act was only recently amended to allow for assistance to these victims in criminal courts—as opposed to civil courts—this is a tremendous opportunity to fill a gap in services for these victims and to advance victims’ rights,” Garvin pointed out.

For more information:

Jodi Heintz
Public Relations Director
503-768-7961
jodih@lclark.edu
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