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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS DIVISION
231 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06106
(860) 757-2270, Fax (860) 757-2215

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 14, 2002

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Connecticut Victim Assistance Academy to be Held

The Connecticut Judicial Branch's Office of Victim Services, in partnership with the University of New Haven, is set to sponsor the second Connecticut Victim Assistance Academy.

The 2002 Connecticut Victim Assistance Academy will be held at the University of New Haven from June 17-21. Thirty-three students, from both the public and private sector victim assistance sectors, are scheduled to attend the academy, which focuses solely on issues of crime victims.

"The State of Connecticut and the Judicial Branch are committed to providing support and assistance to victims of crime," Deputy Chief Court Administrator John J. Ronan said. "The Connecticut Victim Assistance Academy contributes greatly to this goal, and we are proud that the Branch's Office of Victim Services has played such an integral role in developing the program."

Connecticut was one of only five states that the U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) selected to host the intensive, state-specific program. The OVC notified Connecticut in September 1999 that it had received a three-year grant totaling $180,391 to fund the academy; the first one was held in June 2001.

Year 1 grant funding was used to develop the academy; years 2 and 3 went toward the 2001 and 2002 academies, respectively. Student tuition for the program, and cash and in-kind contributions from the University of New Haven also have helped fund both academies. In addition, federal training funds from the state's Victims of Crime Act grant have gone toward the 2002 academy.

It was "an honor for Connecticut and the Judicial Branch to be selected for this event,'' Office of Victim Services Director Linda J. Cimino said. "We believe this program will strengthen the foundation of victim services and advocacy across Connecticut."

Connecticut's program is modeled on the U.S. Department of Justice's National Victim Assistance Academy, a training and education program for professionals who assist crime victims. With its 40 hour-curriculum, the Connecticut academy covers a wide range of topics in victimology, victims' rights and services, and victim advocacy throughout the criminal and juvenile justice processes.

Chief Court Administrator Joseph H. Pellegrino is scheduled to deliver the commencement address on Friday, June 21.

For further information, please contact Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, the Judicial Branch's Manager of Communications, at 860-757-2270.

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