The reporting of a sexual assault or any other violent crime, the legal process, and the anticipation and participation in a trial are bewildering and frightening prospects for a victim.
Possible myths and stereotypes about the police, District Attorney’s Office, District Justices and judges may be a major barrier to the victim’s involvement in the criminal justice system. Compounding the victim’s apprehension and reluctance is their fear of confronting their perpetrator.
Most often, the victim must remember, relive and retell, over and over, the details of their victimization. The legal advocate is well versed in the process of the criminal justice system and the victim’s roll via the system. The legal advocate offers the victim support and assistance to better prepare the victim for the criminal justice process and understand the protocol.
Accompaniment and advocacy is provided for:
Police (Local and State) Interviews
District Attorney Interviews
Preliminary Hearings at Magisterial District Judge offices
Criminal Court Trials
Any other court related proceedings
Victims of Juvenile Offenders (VOJO Program)
The Victim Services Coordinator acts as a liaison between the Juvenile Probation Office, the District Attorney’s Office, and the victim during the legal process. The Victim Services Coordinator ensures the victim’s rights are enacted upon and protected.
The Juvenile Probation Office operates on the BARJ (Balanced and Restorative Justice) Principles. The BARJ principles are based upon values which emphasize the importance of providing opportunities for active involvement in the process of: offering support and assistance to crime victims; holding the offenders directly accountable to the victims and communities they have violated; and restoring the emotional and material losses of victims. This process can be achieved through community service, restitution, competency development, and Victim Impact Statements. The Victim Services Coordinator collaborates with the probation office to determine the best approach for these principles.
Crime Victims’ Center assistance to victims includes:
- Accompaniment to all hearings and interviews
- Assistance in the completion of Restitution Claim Forms and Victim Impact Statements
- Assistance in filing Compensation Claims
- Notice of all hearings, adjudications, dispositions, escapes and transfers
Our Advocates in Juvenile Justice system also present the Competency Development Program to all juvenile offenders who are supervised by the Juvenile Probation Office. The Competency Development Program teaches the juvenile anger management, how to build trust in other people, develop problem solving skills, understand their delinquent behavior, and understand the impact that their behavior has had on the victim and community.