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Tonight's special guest is Lynn Shiner from Harrisburg, PA, the Director of the Office of Victims' Services at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Lynn has turned the Victims Compensation Assistance Program into a national model through streamlining processes, legislative changes, and technology enhancements that ensure that the Program is victim-centered and eases the financial burden on victims and their families. With 35 years of experience in state government, she came to the Commission with a passion to ease crime victims' pain after she experienced a tragedy of her own. Her young children, Jen and Dave, were murdered on Christmas Day 1994. Lynn is also co-author of the book "Stabbed in the Heart: Three Murdered Children, Two Resilient Mothers" which is a story about violence, homicide, and transformation. In 2010, Lynn launched PA Crime Victims, a website she designed to help those whose lives have been forever changed by violence and crime. The primary focus is to let crime victims know they are not alone and that help is available. The website provides information on trauma and healing, how to follow an offender through the criminal and juvenile justice system, rights and services available to crime victims statewide and in specific counties and how to obtain financial help and free counseling. Lynn is committed to doing everything possible to ensure victims' needs are being met, they understand their rights as they enter the criminal justice system, understand what services are available to them at the state and local level, and that victim service programs throughout the state have the needed resources to make this happen.
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