News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

July 14, 1999


Steinhaus Continues Crime Victims Assistance Program


Poughkeepsie, NY - County Executive William R. Steinhaus has approved $56,637 for the extension of Family Services Crime Victims Assistance Program. Steinhaus has signed a contract with Family Services in Poughkeepsie to provide the program which delivers counseling, therapy and other assistance to crime victims.

"The Family Services Crime Victim Assistance Program serves a valuable function to anyone who has been the victim of any number of crimes," Steinhaus said. "Many individuals become traumatized after being victimized and, in this program, victims find a friend who helps them navigate through the criminal justice system as well as lends emotional support."

The Family Services Crime Victims Assistance Program assists victims from a wide variety of crimes. Some of the individuals seeking help are victims of assaults muggings and rapes. "The Crime Victim Assistance Program is available to anyone who is victim to a violent crime in which they suffer physical harm, regardless of income, sex or race," Steinhaus noted.

The services provided in the program include keeping victims informed of the status of their police investigation and court case, functioning as a special liaison to the Dutchess County District Attorney's Office, accompanying victims to grand jury hearings and to court appearances and preparing the victim for hearings. Victims are helped with the process of filing claims with the NYS Crime Victims Board for a reimbursement of expenses which a victim may have incurred as a result of a crime and they are helped in accessing provisions of emergency cash for immediate and short term financial assistance as a result of a crime committed against them.

"Through this program, victimized individuals are helped back on their feet so they can once again lead as normal a life as possible," Steinhaus pointed out. "Our goal is to give people back peace of mind and a healthy, good quality of life."

Therapy is also provided on a short term basis, with the goal being to return victims to their former functioning level. Other support includes crisis intervention counseling, emergency room or police accompaniment and a 24 hour hotline. Rape victims are provided crisis intervention and advocacy and are ensured compassionate emergency medical treatment immediately following a sexual assault and throughout the evidence collection process.

Assistance is also provided to the elderly who have been victimized or abused financially, emotionally, physically or sexually. "It is a program that realizes victims need quick and responsive action in order to minimize any long-term damage caused by the crime," Steinhaus noted. "The staff of the Crime Victim Assistance Program are more than just facilitators of the criminal justice process, they provide personal and emotion support too."


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