Last updated: April 22. 2014 11:35PM - 2255 Views
By - rdupuis@timesleader.com

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WILKES-BARRE — A $10,000 juvenile accountability block grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will continue to provide partial funding for an assistant district attorney (ADA) working on juvenile cases in Luzerne County, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, said Tuesday.

ADA Stephen M. Lentz, who was hired in 2012, has been dedicated to the Juvenile Prosecution Division, District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said.

The division’s ADAs not only prosecute cases in juvenile court, but also work with the liaisons in the DA’s Victims’ Unit to protect victims’ rights.

“I am extremely pleased to see that the issue of juvenile justice remains in the thoughts of Luzerne County’s national representatives,” Salavantis said, offering thanks to Cartwright and all members of Congress who supported the grant.

“I am personally aware of Congressman Cartwright’s work as a lawyer on behalf of juveniles in our system, and I am additionally grateful for his continued work in Washington to assist us in protecting the rights of the both those juvenile individuals accused of committing crimes and the victims adversely affected by those crimes,” she added.

In addition to representing the Commonwealth in cases involving juveniles, and working with the county’s Victims’ Unit, Lentz also works with the county’s Juvenile Probation Department, Cartwright’s office said.

“As a former attorney, I have a deep respect for our criminal justice system,” Cartwright said. “The continued partial funding of an ADA will help ensure that our local criminal justice system operates efficiently and serves local juveniles in a fair and impartial manner.”

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency allocates federal funds to a wide variety of justice-related programs, including victim services, juvenile justice initiatives, adult court and corrections projects and local law enforcement.

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