Office of Victim Services

A new online tool aimed at aiding crime victims in finding legal assistance in civil matters could be available after nearly $1 million in federal funding was awarded to the New York State Office of Victim Services.

The Crime Victims' Legal Network will allow individuals to determine the type of legal help they need and connect them with resources. Matters could include housing and immigration cases and family court cases involving custody, support and orders of protection, according to a release.

The office received two grants totaling $999,940 from the federal Office for Victims of Crime, part of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs. The agency is also working with the Empire Justice Center, University at Albany's Center for Human Services Research and Pro Bono Net. 

The tool will be designed to help individuals outside of New York City, as there are fewer civil legal services available in those counties.

"This grant will allow us to expand our reach, especially to rural areas of the state. Our goal is to create a comprehensive, collaborative network to provide holistic legal assistance to better assess the needs of, and ultimately serve, victims of crime," Elizabeth Cronin, director for the Office of Victim Services, said. 

The project is expected to be completed in two, 18-month periods. 

Staff writer Jordyn Reiland can be reached at (315) 282-2282 or jordyn.reiland@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @JordynReiland.

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