Rowan District Attorney’s Office awarded grant positions

Published 4:34 pm Monday, April 4, 2016

The Rowan County District Attorney’s Office has been awarded three grant positions through the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission. These positions are identified as victim service coordinators and are time-limited.

The North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission received federal funds from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Victims of Crime and dispersed victim service coordinator positions throughout the state to district attorney offices.

Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said in a news release she is “grateful to have received these positions” since her office is not fully funded for their workload-to-staff ratio. Cook said the three victim service coordinators began working in her office in January, and that she has already seen positive results.

“We have witnessed a substantial increase in our ability to communicate with victims of crimes at an early stage. As a direct result of these additional positions, we are able to work more effectively in order to seek justice on behalf of crime victims and our community,” Cook said in the news release.

Cook said she is hopeful that once the grant period ends, the North Carolina General Assembly will fund these positions on a permanent basis.

“It is imperative that district attorneys’ offices across the state are provided the necessary staff to fulfill our numerous duties and responsibilities,” she said. “Innocent victims of crime deserve that, and I will continue advocating for the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office to be fully funded.”

The victim service coordinators work closely with victims of crimes and provide a number of services, including:

  • Notifying victims of upcoming court dates and status of cases;
  • Coordinating telephone standby for victims to reduce unnecessary court appearances when possible;
  • Instructing victims on courtroom procedure;
  • Assisting victims in the courtroom;
  • Reviewing cases to identify all potential victims;
  • Referring victims to advocacy agencies and social services agencies when appropriate;
  • Assisting with completion of victim impact statements and restitution forms;
  • Gathering information from victims to assist in the prosecution of cases;
  • Providing final disposition of cases to victims.