Pro Bono News
Governor Cuomo Announces Innovative Program Providing Civil Legal Assistance to Crime Victims and Expansion of New York Crime Victims Legal Help Website (NY)
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
- New York State
Governor Cuomo Announces Innovative Program Providing Civil Legal Assistance to Crime Victims and Expansion of New York Crime Victims Legal Help Website
"Collaboration Provides Alternative Dispute Resolution and Legal Assistance for Individuals in Erie, Genesee and Niagara Counties to Resolve Civil Matters Resulting from their Victimization
New Website Allows Crime Victims to Learn about their Rights, Find Resources and Obtain Help
Both Initiatives Are Part of the Crime Victims Legal Network, Created and Funded Through the State Office of Victim Services to Improve Access to Justice
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an innovative program serving Erie, Genesee and Niagara counties that provides victims of crime with access to legal services, advocacy and alternative dispute resolution so they can resolve civil matters resulting from their victimization. The Governor also announced expansion of New York Crime Victims Legal Help, a website that allows victims to learn about their rights, connect with resources and obtain assistance. Both initiatives are part of the Crime Victims Legal Network, created by the state Office of Victim Services to help ensure victims' interests are represented in housing, immigration, custody, employment and other matters. The Office of Victim Services has awarded a total of $83 million in federal funding to programs to expand access to justice through 2023.
"Too often, victims of crime end up navigating the court system on their own because civil legal assistance can be scarce and difficult to access, especially in rural communities," Governor Cuomo said. "No one should be left alone as they seek justice, and these comprehensive services will provide critical assistance to New Yorkers and help them get their lives back on track after a difficult time."
"New York is committed to making sure crime victims receive the support they need in the immediate aftermath - and in the weeks, months, and years after," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today's announcement. "Survivors of domestic and sexual violence, elder abuse, and other crimes are often faced with difficult circumstances and need a place to turn for help. This funding will provide vital assistance and offers a unique approach to resolving legal matters outside of the courtroom. These initiatives are an important step forward to protect our most vulnerable residents."
Lieutenant Governor Hochul was in Buffalo this morning to highlight the state's investment in civil legal assistance for crime victims and officially launch the collaborative program serving Erie, Genesee and Niagara counties. The Child & Family Services' Center for Resolution and Justice, which is partnering with the Center for Elder Law & Justice and Neighborhood Legal Services, received more than $3.4 million over five years for the program, the largest civil legal assistance grant awarded by the Office of Victim Services in Western New York. The Buffalo-based agency is one of 61 victim assistance programs funded by Office of Victim Services receiving approximately $81.4 million through 2023 from the state agency to provide these services..."