May-June 2014

Serving the victims of crime

Rob Kepple

TDCAA Executive Director in Austin

Assisting the victims of crime is a priority for prosecutors. But it has been a challenge, ever since the legislature passed the Crime Victims Bill of Rights and required prosecutor’s offices and law enforcement agencies to employ a victim assistance coordinator—but then didn’t fund it. Offices found lots of different ways to pay for victim assistance coordinators, and the Office of the Attorney General has been very helpful in providing grants to help fill the need. TDCAA focused on victim services in 2010 when we created the Victim Services Section and its governing body, the Victim Services Board.
    To keep the effort moving forward, the Board of Trustees of the Foundation voted in January to financially support the full-time position of TDCAA Victim Services Director. The Board has pledged to raise funds to keep that position going for prosecutor’s offices well into the future.
    We are pleased that because of the Board’s support, we have been able to hire a real pro: Jalayne Robinson, the former victim assistance coordinator in Wood County and former Chair of the Victim Services Board. Jalayne brings a wealth of experience, education and enthusiasm to her new position, whose purpose is to bring training and expertise to prosecutors and victim assistance coordinators all around the state, so I expect you will be seeing a lot of Jalayne as she tackles her new position. Check out her first column on page 10.

Texas Prosecutors Society and the endowment
We are also happy to report that the Foundation Board of Trustees has made another annual contribution to the TDCAF Endowment. The endowment was established three years ago in conjunction with the Texas Prosecutors Society. The society, an invitation-only organization of Texas prosecutors, former prosecutors, and distinguished friends of the profession, represents a body of people dedicated to advancing the profession well into the future. The society members have each pledged $2,500 over 10 years to support the endowment, which now stands at over $120,000. This seed money will, Lord willing, grow exponentially into the future, and those prosecutors who are just beginning their careers will see this effort bear fruit as they become the leaders of the profession.