Ohio Crime Victims Receive Compensation; AG Looks to Help Hit-Skip Victims

January 6, 2006

Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro recently praised his Crime Victims Services section for the work they do to help victims of crime.

More than $10 million was paid out in FY 2005, which is a 1.8 percent increase over last year. Petro continues to push for compensation for those who become victims of Hit-Skip crimes.

“I’m very proud of the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the Crime Victims Services section who, despite more claims received, have been able to decrease administrative costs for the third year in a row,” said Petro.

In FY 2005, 6,400 compensation award decisions were written with just 119 decisions appealed to the Court of Claims. Having less than 2 percent of decisions appealed reportedly demonstrates the quality of the decisions being written by the Crime Victims Services section.

Petro continues to aggressively seek ways to assist Hit-Skip victims under the Victims of Crime Compensation Program by personally testifying before the Court of Claims last month. Petro asked the court to consider victims of Hit-Skip as crime victims eligible for compensation. Petro also continues to assist victims who died or were injured by crimes of terror in Iraq. Ohio is unique in the country for this award of compensation.

The office offers many other programs to help victims including:

* Identity Theft Verification Passport Program – helps victims report identity theft to local authorities provides a tool to help victims get their good name back. The program provides a card for victims to show to creditors and law enforcement establishing that they have been victimized. Between December 2004 and August 2005, 1,189 law enforcement officers have been trained representing 517 law enforcement agencies around Ohio and 196 Passport cards were issued.

* Compensation to Hit-Skip Victims – Attorney General Petro’s office has broadened the scope of the crime victims fund to allow victims of hit-skip accidents to receive compensation.

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