Krasner Establishes Advisory Committee for Crime Victims
The move comes amid news that the DA’s Office has lost a quarter of its senior staff since Philly’s top prosecutor took office in January.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner apologized to the city’s victims on Friday and promised more inclusion in his office’s decision-making process in the future with the creation of a special Crime Victims’ Advisory Committee.
According to a release from the DA’s office, the CVAC “will not only empower witnesses and victims to improve the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s victim and witness services, but will work to eliminate the trauma felt by crime victims and witnesses.” The move was reportedly spurred by complaints that Krasner has left victims’ families out of key discussions regarding charging and/or criminal trials.
“In each one of the hundreds of cases the District Attorney’s Office works on each day, there is one thing in common — they all have witnesses and victims,” Krasner said in a release. “So, as we get ready to celebrate Crime Victims’ Rights Week, I’m excited to launch this new advisory committee. I thank all our partners for their participation, and I cannot stress enough the importance of the work that they will do. Our criminal justice system needs you and will benefit from your guidance on how we can recognize trauma, support victims and witnesses as they recover, and break the cycle that exists between victim and perpetrator.”
In addition to employees from the Office of Victim and Witness Services, the CVAC will also include Philadelphians who have personally experienced incidents of assault, sexual and domestic violence, or homicide, as well as area organizations serving victims and witnesses of crime. Krasner said the committee has been in the works since January.
With the DA’s office having lost approximately 25 percent of its senior staff since Krasner took office this year, Philly’s top prosecutor is going to need all of the help he can get. According to a new City & State PA analysis of city payroll records, 84 of 335 prosecutorial staff, investigators and senior administrators employed at the end of 2017 have either quit or been asked to leave.