Prosecutor’s Office to hire six victims’ advocates


HILO — The county Prosecutor’s Office will be offering more help for crime victims, Prosecutor Charlene Iboshi announced on Friday.

Two counselors, two counseling assistants and two legal clerks will be added through a $303,177 grant from the state Justice Reinvestment Initiative. One of each position will be placed in the Hilo and Kona offices, respectively. First Deputy Prosecutor Dale Yamada Ross said the grant will run through fiscal year 2015.

Ross said the new hires will allow the Prosecutor’s Office’s Victims Assistance Unit to assist property crime victims.

“When someone burglarizes your house, that can have a tremendous impact on how you feel about your personal safety,” she said. “So this will allow us to have victim counselor services for property crime victims, and we’re really happy about that.”

Ross said that currently in Hilo, there are seven victim counselors including the supervisor, no counseling assistant and 10 clerks, while in Kona there’s a supervisor, three victim counselors, no counseling assistant and 10 clerks, She added that the clerk count is the clerical unit for the entire department, not just the Victims Assistance Unit.

Openings for the new positions had not been posted to the county’s Department of Human Resources website as of late Friday afternoon.

The grant is part of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s effort to save money by reducing mainland prisoner contracts and reinvesting the savings to fill key unfilled positions.