District Attorney Shugrue is proud to announce that Jane Kibby-Peirce, Director of Victim Witness Advocates for the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office, has been named the 2023 Gerard D. Downing Advocate of the Year by the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association (MDAA).
This statewide, lifetime achievement award, “…recognizes the special combination of talents embodied in a truly outstanding advocate: a deep compassion for and empathetic understanding of the needs of crime victims and their families; outstanding skill in anticipating and providing advice, counseling and services; an ability to instill in victims a sense of dignity and confidence; and the ability to reach and touch victims that makes them feel, regardless of the prosecution outcome, that their voice has been heard.” (Massachusetts District Attorney Association)
DA Shugrue, Second Assistant Kelly Kemp and the office staff share the sentiment that Kibby-Peirce embodies this award.
Director Kibby-Peirce was hired in 1992 by Berkshire County’s first District Attorney, Gerard D. Downing. Kibby-Peirce has served as an advocate, mentor, and trainer during her 30-year tenure. As an advocate Jane was a member of the office’s Special Victims Unit working with adults, elder and disabled survivors of sexual assault. As a mentor and trainer Kibby-Peirce has supported assistant district attorneys, fellow victim witness advocates and community members to better understand and support victims.
DA Shugrue described Director Kibby-Peirce: “A tireless and passionate advocate, Jane rose to the challenge the system to be more responsive to and accepting of the needs of victims and their children by making judges, probation officers, and law enforcement see the survivors’ humanity while demanding that they as practitioners protect this vulnerable population. “
Jane Kibby-Peirce joins the company of four other Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office staff who have won state-wide MDAA awards. Elizabeth Keegan was awarded the MDAA Gerard D. Downing Advocate of the Year Award in 2007. Additionally, Assistant District Attorneys David Capeless (1996- ADA during that time), Paul Caccaviello (2008- ADA during that time) and Joseph Pieropan (2016) received the William C. O’Malley Prosecutor of the Year Award by the MDAA.