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Commission honors crime victims
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337 new criminal cases
1830 new traffic cases
178 new juvenile offender cases
139 new child in need of care cases
48 care and treatment cases
329 new victims of crime in Barton County
4,000 contacts made to all victims

In 2012 thus far:
166 new criminal and juvenile offender cases
98 new victims of crime
1,000 contacts made to all victims

A couple weeks ago, the Adam Longoria murder trial ended in Barton County. He was convicted of murdering 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt in August of 2010.
“The victims in that case went through two years of uncertainty,” Barton County Attorney Doug Matthews told the County Commission Monday during its regular meeting. What they endured is a snap shot of what victims go through.
“The victims are sometimes the least appreciated,” he said. To help assuage this oversight, the commission approved a proclamation making this National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
The week has been selected to recognize those affected and those who serve them. “It asks us to think of how we would feel if we or our loved ones were a victim of a crime,” said Camila Komarek, victims advocate with the County Attorney’s Office.
There were 329 new victims of crime in Barton County in 2011 and 98 so far this year, so Komarek and company stay busy. “We help guide them through the entire justice process,” she said.
These victims endure a lot, Matthews said. “The advocates really make a difference. Things (for those impacted) may not be as good as they were, but they are as good as possible.”
The county attorney said there hasn’t been an increase in crime in the county, but officials pay more attention to the dynamics of it now. “We’re more aware of the ramifications to the victims.”
In another crime-related matter, the commission approved the 2013 Central Kansas Community Corrections grant application through the Kansas Department of Corrections. Amy Boxberger, CKCC director, said the grant is for $382,000, but could be as high as $408,000, depending on how generous the Legislature is this session.
The Kansas Community Corrections Act provides grants to develop, implement and maintain offender programs. Boxberger said there has been no indication from lawmakers that the funding, which is an annual allotment, is in jeopardy.
The basic grant amount would just keep the existing programs going at the county level, without any pay increases. The higher total would allow CKCC to re-instate a part-time position that had to be cut because of state budget issues in the past, but still no salary hikes.
Come budget planning time in June, CKCC may have to revisit the issue after the state finalizes its fiscal package.
CKCC works to help keep offenders out of incarceration if possible. But, they also work with those in custody as well.
It serves the entire 20th Judicial District which includes Barton, Russell, Ellsworth, Rice and Stafford counties.