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Chapter 6: Victim Services

Chapter 6: Victim Services

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Chapter 6: Victim Services

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  1. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Sage Publications Inc. 1

  2. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services • The Crime Victim’s Rights Act of 2004 forced a lot of changes in the criminal justice system. • The onus was put on all city and state governments to ensure victims received the rights promised them by the bill. Sage Publications Inc. 2

  3. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim’s Rights • The right to notification. • The right not to be excluded from proceedings. • The right to protection from the accused. • The right to speak at criminal justice proceedings. • The right to restitution. • The right to consult with the prosecuting attorney. • The right to a proceedings free from unreasonable delay • The right to be treated with fairness and respect for the victims' dignity and privacy. Sage Publications Inc. 3

  4. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim’s Rights • Why weren’t these amenities offered to victims all along? • Before the economy crashed in 2007, some would answer that it was a lack of money and resources. • However, since 2007 we have seen agencies work with less because they had to. • Police departments and courts had to rethink and alter how they accomplished their everyday tasks. Sage Publications Inc. 4

  5. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services • If anything good came out of the budget collapse, it was the forced improvements. • Better victims’ service is just one of many avant garde transformations in recent years. • Some of the new victim responsibilities were given to police departments and some were given to the courts. • The deficit of efficient services for victims wasn’t a lack of concern on the part of police and courts. Sage Publications Inc. 5

  6. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services • It is difficult to change paradigms in any occupation, but it is especially hard in law enforcement. • While assistant chiefs and captains deal with departmental issues, the chief of police handles outside political issues, which included pleading with the city management for more manpower. • Justifying a need for patrol officers has always been much easier than selling new programs, such as victim services. Sage Publications Inc. 6

  7. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services • Had administrators of police departments recognized the need for better treatment of victims, the idea of trying to change officers’ approach to their job would have been a huge undertaking, if even possible at all. • Worrying about victims of crime isn’t what many police officers signed up for (prior to 2004). • Even today the victim-focused mentality isn’t found among all police employees, but more and more the hiring units are looking for just that type of mindset. Sage Publications Inc. 7

  8. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services • The crime victim’s movement was intensified during the mid 80s and many agencies received funding to facilitate better treatment to victims. • The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984 was the catalyst. • Over a billion dollars has been spent on victim assistance programs since the start of the VOCA funding. • This funding has come from numerous contributors besides the government. Sage Publications Inc. 8

  9. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services • There have also been many community leaders who have stepped up and persisted in keeping the vision alive. • Instead of the crime victim’s movement being just a temporary fad, it has become one of the most successful and supported movements in recent history. • Today, we have witnessed the emergence of enhanced victim-centered protocols and the creation of new jobs associated with victim advocacy. Sage Publications Inc. 9

  10. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services • Today, many victim advocacy positions are funded by state and federal grants, but city governments remain accountable to support the programs. • Police departments and courts look for victim services personnel who are grant savvy. • Many victim services specialists are self supportive by writing their own grant requests in order to retain their position in the agency they work. Sage Publications Inc. 10

  11. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services • Today, many victim advocacy positions are funded by state and federal grants, but city governments remain accountable to support the programs. • Police departments and courts look for victim services personnel who are grant savvy. • Many victim services specialists are self supportive by writing their own grant requests in order to retain their position in the agency they work. • City governments must be prepared to pick up the slack if government funding ends. Sage Publications Inc. 11

  12. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • A civilian position that has surfaced at many police departments in the last few decades. • To work for Farmington Police Department in New Mexico as a Crime Victim Advocate, you would perform a variety of administrative and professional public safety assistance work in planning, coordinating, and directing services for victims of violent crime. • Many agencies employ advocates for victims of all crimes. Sage Publications Inc. 12

  13. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • A significant aspect of the work in Farmington involves public contact with adult and child victims of violent crime, law enforcement staff, and community groups. • Advocates in Farmington work under general supervision of a designated detective lieutenant. • They perform advocate duties for victims within the criminal justice system. Sage Publications Inc. 13

  14. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • Responsible for the development, administration, and evaluation of the victim program, serving as a spokesperson and liaison with other law enforcement staff, allied professional agencies, community groups, and the community at large to carry out the purpose of the program. Sage Publications Inc. 14

  15. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • Advocates conduct public speaking presentations for the general public, training for allied professionals, updates and training for law enforcement staff, victim advocate staff, and program volunteers, and monitor case management, which includes analyzing reports, contacting victims, developing action plans with the victims, and monitoring case progression through the judicial system. Sage Publications Inc. 15

  16. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • Farmington requires a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, social science or a related field (Master’s degree preferred) and three years experience in victim assistance programs or other non-profit victim oriented programs. • They also require one year experience working with the criminal justice system and one year experience in grant writing or a satisfactory equivalent combination of experience and training. Sage Publications Inc. 16

  17. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • Applicants must provide enough information for a thorough background check. • Considerable knowledge of and experience with strategic planning, program development, personnel management, and grants and budgets are also preferred. • Farmington requires working knowledge of the adult and juvenile criminal justice system, good knowledge of victimology and crisis intervention techniques, the ability to prepare reports, and the ability to effectively communicate. Sage Publications Inc. 17

  18. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • Because victim advocates are often paid by grants, the victim advocate or victim service supervisor is usually responsible to write the grant. • Having grant writing experience is not always vital for advocate positions, but can propel you in front of other candidates for practically any position in government work. • Grant writing training is offered all over the country for as low as $100.00 • You can find training in your area and receive a certificate after the course. Sage Publications Inc. 18

  19. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • Because victim advocates are often paid by grants, the victim advocate or victim service supervisor is usually responsible to write the grant. • Having grant writing experience is not always vital for advocate positions, but can propel you in front of other candidates for practically any position in government work. • Grant writing training is offered all over the country. Sage Publications Inc. 19

  20. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • Once you receive your certificate, you can list “Grant writing certified” on your resume. • The ideal situation for a victim advocate is a job in which the city sponsors the position and includes all the usual benefits, such as sick pay, vacation time, and health insurance. • The pay range for most advocacy work ranges from $24,000 - $44,000. Sage Publications Inc. 20

  21. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate Victim advocacy isn’t routinely conducted by males, but there are some advantages to having males involved in the work. Victims of theft or burglary rarely need as much intervention as a victim of family death, sexual assault, or domestic violence, but in many government agencies, victim advocacy is available for victims of all types of crimes. Most advocate work is short term to help victims get through the initial crisis and then refer them to counselors if necessary. Sage Publications Inc. 21

  22. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • Advocacy is significant in domestic violence cases. • Victims of domestic violence stay in abusive relationships for a variety of reasons such as fear, economic dependency, belief the abuser will change, isolation, cultural influences, immigration status, religion, low self esteem, and for the children. • Advocates play a multifaceted role with these types of victims. Sage Publications Inc. 22

  23. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • Advocates educate victims to help them understand their abuser better and learn what resources are available. • They develop safety plans with victims and find them shelter, often providing financial assistance for food and travel. • Advocates become a liaison between the victim and the criminal justice system to help assure the case is investigated properly and the abuser receives prompt consequences. Sage Publications Inc. 23

  24. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • Advocates accompany victims to court for an order of protection and then follow through with the police to make sure it gets served. • Law enforcement and attorneys benefit by having someone take the victim by the hand. • Even though a victim no longer needs to say “I’ll prosecute,” a case is not likely going to be successful if the victim refuses to testify in court. Sage Publications Inc. 24

  25. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • There are 56 state coalitions that target domestic violence prevention and also a National Coalition against Domestic Violence (NCADV). • These coalitions work closely with the state governments from whom they often receive much of their funding. • The Arizona Coalition against Domestic Violence (AzCADV) was organized in 1980. Sage Publications Inc. 25

  26. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • AZCADV was formed so professionals and concerned citizens state-wide could unite, increase public awareness about the issue of domestic violence, enhance the safety of and services for domestic violence victims, and reduce the incidents of domestic violence in Arizona families. • AZCADV is based in Phoenix, Arizona and has significant statewide presence. • They work with more than 170 formal members and allies to carry out their mission and objectives. Sage Publications Inc. 26

  27. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • Those working within the realm of AZCADV include victim advocates, legal advocates, system advocates, and trainers. • AZCADV hosts a number of volunteer. • Some of the volunteer opportunities include the Legislative Advisory Committee, Legal Committee, Domestic Violence Programs Committee, Women of Color Committee, and the SHARE Survivors Advisory Committee Sage Publications Inc. 27

  28. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Victim Advocate • For the first ten years, the Nebraska Coalition was a volunteer organization with no paid staff and no office location. • In 1987 the Coalition received funds from the Department of Social Services to open an office and hire a staff person. • The Oregon Coalition against Domestic & Sexual Violence (OCADSV) is a statewide nonprofit corporation comprised of 45 member programs. Sage Publications Inc. 28

  29. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Social Media and Event Coordinator • With some advocacy experience you could transition into other positions within the coalitions or their partner organizations. • One example is the position of Social Media and Events Coordinator for the Oregon Coalition against Domestic & Sexual Violence. • The SMEC provides a wide array of event, administrative, technical, and office coordination. Sage Publications Inc. 29

  30. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Social Media and Event Coordinator The minimum qualifications for the position of Social Media and Event Coordinator include: • An understanding of and agreement with The coalition’s mission statement and philosophy regarding the elimination of sexual violence, empowerment, inclusiveness, and social change. • Two to five years experience working with domestic or sexual violence survivors. • Three years of experience providing internal technology support. Sage Publications Inc. 30

  31. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Social Media and Event Coordinator Minimum qualifications continued: • Proficiency in database and website administration. • Demonstrated understanding of social media activities and usage. • Very high attention to details and excellent verbal and written communication skills. • Associate in Computer Systems Administration or the equivalent of education and experience. • Ability to travel statewide on some overnighters and weekends. Sage Publications Inc. 31

  32. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Sexual Assault Victim Advocate • The Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence is a statewide non-profit coalition. • They provides training, technical assistance, policy work, and legal services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking. • The coalition employs a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate for its sexual assault legal clinic. Sage Publications Inc. 32

  33. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Sexual Assault Victim Advocate • The goal of the Sexual Assault Legal Clinic is to provide comprehensive and holistic legal representation in civil matters for victims of sexual assault. • The funding for these services allows the coalition to provide representation to clients in 34 counties. • The Sexual Assault Victim Advocate for the Tennessee Coalition is responsible for assisting the staff attorneys in representation of sexual assault victims.  Sage Publications Inc. 33

  34. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Specific duties in Tennessee include: • Conduct intake for referred clients and perform a safety needs assessment. • Make referrals for resources needed to increase victim safety. • Work directly with sexual assault programs to obtain documents necessary for legal representation. • Assist in collecting and managing data related to the clients. Sage Publications Inc. 34

  35. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Sexual Assault Victim Advocate • The qualifications and desired qualities for this position include knowledge of and experience with sexual assault victims, excellent communication skills, fluency in languages other than English, cultural knowledge, and the ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds. • Like most advocate positions, the salary is between $30,000 and $44,000 Sage Publications Inc. 35

  36. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Prevention Specialist The position of Prevention Specialist exists at the Florida Coalition against Domestic Violence. Working for the Florida Coalition in this position you would provide training and technical assistance to Florida's 42 certified domestic violence (DV) centers and allied partners. You would need knowledge of root causes of violence against women and oppressed groups, proven training experience, ability to multi-task, and a consistent employment history. Sage Publications Inc. 36

  37. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Prevention Specialist As a PS You would need extensive knowledge of primary prevention for domestic violence, experience planning, implementing, and evaluating prevention programs, experience working with youth and engaging youth leadership, experience with the Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence, and a proven history of successful organizing for social change. Sage Publications Inc. 37

  38. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Domestic Violence Hotline Advocate • Florida Coalition has a position of Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline Advocate. • In this job you would provide crisis intervention, information, referral, and ongoing advocacy to survivors of domestic violence who call Florida's toll-free statewide domestic violence hotline. Sage Publications Inc. 38

  39. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Domestic Violence Hotline Advocate • When not answering the hotline you would provide administrative support for the program department, build upon the existing hotline resources, review hotline data, assist with developing hotline trainings and corresponding curricula, and support the direct supervisor with other duties and assignments. Sage Publications Inc. 39

  40. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Domestic Violence Hotline Advocate • To be a Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline Advocate, you would need to possess a high school diploma or equivalent and have four years relevant experience, or a bachelor's degree in a related field and three years relevant experience. • As a Hotline Advocate, you must have extensive knowledge of the dynamics of domestic violence and a history of successful advocacy on behalf of survivors. Sage Publications Inc. 40

  41. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Training Specialist • The Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (WCSAP) has a position for Training Specialist, which is common position in most states. • The Training Specialist develops, implements, and evaluates trainings, and facilitates training and events related to the continuum of sexual violence and sexual assault services. • Washington prefers employees from historically marginalized communities Sage Publications Inc. 41

  42. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Training Specialist • Generally a training position requires the same skills as an advocate. • They also look for someone who can present in front of large groups. • The job interviews for training positions usually involve you giving a short presentation in front of the staff to demonstrate your ability. • Spanish speaking is a plus for any advocate position, but especially for trainers. Sage Publications Inc. 42

  43. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Training & Resource Development Specialist • The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV), located in Washington D.C. has a position for Training & Resource Development Specialist. • The TRDS is responsible for coordinating domestic violence training, specialized technical assistance, and resource development on a wide range of subjects and issues that intersect with domestic violence dynamics, prevalence, intervention, prevention, and public awareness. Sage Publications Inc. 43

  44. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Training & Resource Development Specialist • The training, technical assistance, and resource development is guided by high-quality research, analysis, information and resources on domestic violence, and is provided to individuals and local, state, tribal, and federal entities throughout the U.S. Sage Publications Inc. 44

  45. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Training & Resource Development Specialist • The TRDS position requires a Bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited four-year college or university, a minimum of five years experience in work directly pertaining to domestic violence, social justice, systems advocacy, or social change, or any equivalent combination of education and experience. • Direct domestic violence service experience is strongly preferred. Sage Publications Inc. 45

  46. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Training & Resource Development Specialist • For this position you would need to demonstrate knowledge and experience of planning, developing, and implementing technical assistance and training specifically related to domestic violence. • You would need to assess the development and delivery of resources, consultation and services, and follow-up and evaluation Sage Publications Inc. 46

  47. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Court Victim Advocate Victim advocates are also employed at courts and prosecutors’ offices. To be a Court Victim Advocate Specialist in Brighton, Colorado you would provide information, assistance, and support to victims, witnesses, and deputy district attorneys in cases filed for prosecution in district, county, and juvenile court divisions. Sage Publications Inc. 47

  48. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Court Victim Advocate You would provide information to victims and witnesses regarding the functions and role of the Victim Witness Services Unit in the District Attorney's office and of victim's rights as set forth in Colorado statutes. You would provide practical explanation of courtroom procedures to victims and witnesses, including general criminal justice process and definitions of legal terminology. Sage Publications Inc. 48

  49. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Court Victim Advocate You would provide referrals to and information regarding the availability of crisis intervention services, victim compensation funds, victim assistance, legal assistance, immigration and financial assistance resources, mental health resources, and social services. You would initiate and respond to in-person, telephone, and written contact with victims and witnesses to provide factual, accurate, and timely case related information. Sage Publications Inc. 49

  50. Careers in Criminal Justice • Chapter 6: Victim Services Court Victim Advocate • You would assist victims and witnesses with payment of mileage and witness fees. • You would need to attend and participate in training opportunities that are directly related to unit services, and maintain statistical data regarding services provided to victims and witnesses. Sage Publications Inc. 50