Division of Criminal Justice Services

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Contact: Janine Kava, Press Office
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Crime Victims Board
(518) 457-8906 or (518) 275-5508 – cell
For immediate release: Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Former Appellate Term judge is newest member of state’s Crime Victims Board
Justice William J. Davis served for 12 years in New York’s First Department

William J. Davis, who served for 12 years as an associate justice with the Appellate Term of the First Department of New York State Supreme Court, has been named to the New York State Crime Victims Board.

Appointed by Governor David A. Paterson and confirmed by the state Senate, Mr.  Davis is one of five members of the board. He joined the Crime Victims Board earlier this month and will serve the remaining six years of a seven-year term that runs through February 2015.

Established in 1966, the board’s mission is to “provide compensation to innocent victims of crime in a timely, efficient and compassionate manner; to fund direct services to crime victims via a network of community-based programs; and to advocate for the rights and benefits of all innocent victims of crime.” The board has offices in Albany, Brooklyn and Buffalo.

During the 2007-08 fiscal year, the Crime Victims Board provided more than $27 million to crime victims and their families, including payment of medical and funeral expenses, compensation for lost wages and reimbursement for essential personal property such as eyeglasses.

Prior to serving as a First Department (Bronx and New York counties) Appellate Term justice, Mr. Davis was a judge of the state Supreme Court and Criminal Court in New York County.

He also has extensive experience in the affordable housing field, including serving as regional director with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; executive director of the Bronx Small Development and Opportunities Corporation; assistant director of the Legal Division at the New York Housing and Development Board; and special legal consultant with the New York Housing and Redevelopment Board Bureau of Neighborhood Conservation. 

A graduate of the City College of New York (CUNY) and Brooklyn Law School, Mr. Davis also was a partner with the New York law firm of Schuman, Wolf, Shuman and Davis, and has been a part-time arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association.

Mr. Davis has been affiliated with a variety of community and professional organizations, including the alumni associations of CUNY and Brooklyn Law School; 100 Black Men; the New York City Bar Association; the New York County Lawyers’ Association; Criminal Court Judges Association; and the New York Trial Lawyers’ Association. He also has served on the board of directors of Opening Housing Inc.; the Kingsbridge Community Center; and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.

He replaces Alton R. Waldon Jr., who resigned from the board in February 2008. His annual salary is $90,800.

In addition to directly compensating victims, the Crime Victims Board provided more than $29.4 million in funding to 195 victims’ assistance programs across the state in 2007-08. Those grants fund programs offered by: local district attorneys’ offices; probation and police departments; hospitals; and non-profit organizations including YWCAs, rape crisis centers and child advocacy centers. Victim assistance programs provide services that range from crisis intervention and counseling to arranging for legal assistance and transportation.

Funding for compensation to crime victims, as well as grant money to support victims’ assistance programs in nearly every county in New York State, comes from the state and federal government, generated by fines, mandatory surcharges, and crime victim assistance fees that certain offenders pay after conviction in either state or federal court.

All told, the board served 230,000 crime victims across the state during the 2007-08 fiscal year.