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OVS Director Named to National Advisory Board

Linda J. Cimino, director of the Connecticut Judicial Branch’s Office of Victim Services, has been selected to serve on an advisory board that is part of a national project to enhance the training of judges and court personnel in the area of victims’ rights and services.

Ms. Cimino is one of only two crime victim advocates who have been appointed to the 25-member panel, which is part of the four-year Judicial Education Project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime.

"I am extremely proud of Linda and view this appointment as evidence of Connecticut’s commitment to victims’ rights," Chief Court Administrator Joseph H. Pellegrino said. "For some time, the Branch has devoted resources to ongoing educational efforts, so that our judges and court staff are aware of their responsibilities regarding victims’ rights and services. The work of the advisory board will provide us with new ideas on how to build upon that commitment."

The advisory board includes judges, victim assistance professionals, crime victims, court administrators, probation officials, and representatives of other justice agencies. Project co-sponsors include the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization, Justice Solutions Inc., the National Center for State Courts, and the American Probation and Parole Association, with support from the American Judges Association, the National Association for Court Management, and the National Center of State Judicial Educators. Members of the advisory panel will provide guidance throughout the project, which, among other things, will develop a curriculum on victimization issues to train judges and court personnel; conduct and evaluate training programs; and develop a model victims’ rights benchbook for judges.

"The Judicial Education Project is the first national-scope effort to sensitize criminal and juvenile justice court personnel, including judges, administrators and probation staff, to crime victims’ issues and statutory rights," according to project Director David Beatty of Justice Solutions Inc. "We view Ms. Cimino’s participation in this important project as a key to its success."

"I am honored to serve on this important advisory board with so many respected professionals from the judiciary, courts, and probation agencies from across the nation." Ms. Cimino said.

Ms. Cimino has been head of OVS since January 2000. Prior to that, she worked in the field of domestic violence for 12 years – first, as executive director of Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis for seven years, and then as executive director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence for five years. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic and serves as an adjunct lecturer at the University of New Haven, where she teaches a course in victimology.

For further information, please contact Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, manager of communications, at 860-757-2270.

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