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Press Release

State Paralegals Honored for Work as Victim/Witness Coordinators

April 13, 2005

(ANCHORAGE) - Paralegals working in district attorneys' offices across the state received special recognition today as recipients of the 2005 "Above and Beyond the Call of Duty" award presented by the state Violent Crimes Compensation Board (VCCB).

The awards recognize outstanding efforts to assure justice for crime victims and were presented to 26 paralegals from across the state who also serve as victim/witness coordinators in the Department of Law.

"Ensuring that crime victims rights are recognized and fulfilled is an essential part of the criminal justice system," said Susan Parkes, Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division for the Department of Law. "Our paralegals embrace this duty and I am pleased that they are being recognized for a job well done."

"We need to treat victims with dignity, respect and fairness," said Alaska Attorney General David Márquez. "I believe that our paralegals incorporate that ideal as part of the professional manner in which they embrace their other duties and I am pleased to recognize them today."

The paralegals being honored today include: Elisabeth Schafer (Sitka); Sandy Chadwell and Kathy VanKirk (Palmer); Paul Nolton (Kotzebue); Robbin Kessler (Kodiak); Christi Rhodes-Mestas (Ketchikan); Anna Larouche and Suzette Marey (Kenai), Blanche Jacobs, Jody Lown and Victoria Matthews (Bethel); Carrie Hulse (Juneau); Jolleen Cooper, Jonelle Stephens, Marja Hallsten and Theresa Nault (Fairbanks); Ida Backford (Dillingham); and Georgia Kustura, Natalie Dunlap, Nanette Lindsey, Louise Hall, Kristen Despars, Colleen Ouzts, Stacey Park, Sue Wilson and Cynthia Bradford (Anchorage).

The Alaska Constitution and state law provide crime victims with protections and guarantees including information regarding crime victim compensation. The crimes compensation board is located in the Alaska Department of Administration.

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