Press Release

Department of Law Secures Funding for Statewide Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Prosecution Units

October 12, 2005

(Anchorage) – Attorney General David Márquez announced today that the Department of Law was awarded a federal grant to fund the creation of statewide sexual assault/domestic violence prosecution units.

In late September the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women notified the Attorney General's office that it would receive $3.6 million over the next three years to create special units to supplement statewide efforts to focus on prosecutions in sexual assault and domestic violence cases. The Alaska Legislature previously approved the budget plan that allowed the department to accept this money and integrate it into its existing budget.

"Each year, 3300 misdemeanor domestic violence cases, over 500 felony violent crime and kidnapping cases and nearly 600 felony sex cases are referred for prosecution to our state district attorneys' offices," said Márquez. "These cases represent a major portion of our prosecutorial caseload and this funding will go a long way to strengthen our efforts at tackling these egregious crimes."

"Sexual assaults and domestic violence are labor intensive and require special sensitivity for working with the victims impacted by these crimes," said Deputy Attorney General Susan Parkes, head of the Criminal Division. "These dedicated positions will be located in offices which have experienced an increased caseload in these areas in order to support continued aggressive prosecution of these crimes."

The funding should be sufficient to provide for the creation of three attorney positions, three paralegals and two law office assistants. These employees will be trained to deal with sexual assault and domestic violence prosecutions, at the misdemeanor and felony level. They will handle these cases from intake through sentencing and will work closely with local law enforcement agencies, medical and other professional experts to develop a team approach for prosecuting these cases.

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