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City Communications Office

City of Kansas City, Mo.

www.kcmo.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 16, 2011

New program helps immigrants and refugees navigate City’s court system

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Court and City Prosecutor’s Office have partnered with Jewish Vocational Service to launch the Refugee-Immigrant Social Integration Program. Funded by a $125,000 grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, this program will improve services for immigrants and refugees in the court system.

The program will facilitate a referral system from the Municipal Court to help immigrants and refugees mitigate cultural and language barriers in the legal process.

The program will strive to improve its participants’ ability to navigate any current or future legal proceedings; assist in the process of acculturation by reducing barriers to services; and increase participant’s safety, mental health and overall quality of life. Up to 200 new clients, referred from the City’s Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Program, Mental Health Court and Drug Courts, will be able to access these intensive case management and therapeutic services.

In addition to individual services, Jewish Vocational Service will conduct cultural competency and interpreter trainings for staff and interpreters working within the Municipal Court to increase competence when working with diverse populations.

Jewish Vocational Service is an organization that aims to strengthen the well-being of individuals, families and the community by promoting successful social, cultural and economic integration. For more information about Jewish Vocational Service, please visit www.jvskc.org or www.facebook.com/jvskc.

For media inquiries or more information about the Refugee-Immigrant Social Integration Program, please contact Martha Means, assistant city prosecutor, at 816-513-3809.

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