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12/20/2013

Governor Corbett’s Victim Advocate Appointee, Jennifer Storm, Sworn in to Office

News for Immediate Release

Dec. 20, 2013

Governor Corbett’s Victim Advocate Appointee, Jennifer Storm, Sworn in to Office

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett today joined statewide victim service providers and law enforcement officials and Montgomery County District Court Judge Thomas Rogers for the swearing-in ceremony of Jennifer Storm as the Commonwealth’s new Victim Advocate.

“Jennifer Storm’s expertise, achievements, and personal commitment to the rights of victims will have a tremendous impact on victims and their families,” Governor Corbett said.  “I am confident that her considerable talents and the goals she has identified will put Pennsylvania’s Office of the Victim Advocate at the forefront of service to victims.”

Referencing her previous experience as a victim advocate at the county level, Storm stated, “Too many times I have been with a victim at the scene of a crime or sitting in the living room of strangers who have just learned their child was murdered and witnessed the range of emotions that overcomes a person under such tragic circumstances.  This is not the time to learn about rights or services.

“It is my primary goal to ensure that the Office of the Victim Advocate is on the forefront of education for victim rights, services, and availability.”

The Office of the Victim Advocate was created in 1995 to represent the rights and interests of crime victims before the Board of Probation and Parole and the Department of Corrections. The OVA provides notification to crime victims of the potential for inmate release, opportunity to provide testimony, and notification of the inmate’s movement within the correctional system.

“The Board looks forward to working with Jennifer and continuing the cooperative relationship that allows for victims’ concerns to be heard by decision makers,” said Michael C. Potteiger, chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.  “We value the input of victims as we seek to make parole decisions that we know will affect their lives.”

Victim assistance coordinators on staff at the Office of the Victim Advocate work with local advocates at community-based victim services programs and also with advocates in county district attorney’s offices to ensure that all victims of crime who have requested post-sentencing services receive the compassionate and individual attention and advocacy that they require.

“Jennifer has dedicated her career to ensuring crime victims are afforded the rights and services that they are entitled to under the law and has personally provided first response services to more than 1,000 crime victims,” said Linda Rosenberg, executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.  “She has a deep personal commitment to ensuring victim’s voices are heard and that they are always treated with dignity and respect.”

“On behalf of Pennsylvania’s prosecutors, I congratulate Jennifer Storm on her appointment as Pennsylvania’s Victim Advocate,” said David Freed, president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and district attorney of Cumberland County.  “Jen is a powerful and inspirational writer, speaker and teacher.  More importantly for prosecutors, Jen is a tireless advocate who has the compassion to share a victim’s pain and the fortitude to speak up on a victim’s behalf.  Jen’s compelling personal experience as a crime victim combines with all of her other attributes to make her the best choice for this vital position.  We look forward to working with her to continue to speak up for law abiding citizens across the Commonwealth.”

“PCAR and its network of rape crisis programs looks forward to maintaining a tradition of providing a continuum of victims' rights and services in collaboration with the Commonwealth's Victim Advocate,” said Diane Moyer, legal director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

PCAR and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and other victim services organizations work with the OVA on policy, legislative and advocacy issues for victims.

Storm, of Camp Hill, Cumberland County, has served for the past 10 years as executive director of the Dauphin County Victim/Witness Assistance Program.

The author of several books and magazine articles, Storm has received numerous honors for her advocacy efforts.

Victims have many rights in Pennsylvania.  Some rights require the victim to ask or register to receive them.  For more information, visit the Office of the Victim Advocate at www.ova.state.pa.us.

Media contact:

 Jay Pagni, Governor’s Office, 717-783-1116

Sherry Tate, Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, 717-231-4411

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