Development of Victim & witness protection in the USA John P. J. Dussich, Ph. D. Tokiwa International Victimology Institute “Victimology & Victim Assistance” LPSK Bogor, Indonesia March 27, 2013
Types of Programs • Sponsorship by, and affiliation with, a host agency has a strong influence on the services a program provides to victims
Types of Programs • The advantage to police-based programs is their connection with police, who have mobility and 24 hour availability • The advantage to prosecutor-based programs is their speedy access to case information, court dates, and court escort services.
Types of Programs • Nonprofit criminal justice or social service agencies provide access to all victims, including those who do not trust the criminal justice system. They often provide emergency financial aid and social services.
4 Model Victim/Witness Assistance Programs • Police-based: Victim Assistance Unit and Family Crisis Intervention Team of Rochester, NY • Nonprofit: Crime Victim Centers of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN • Urban Prosecutor-based: Victim/Witness Services of Milwaukee County, WI • Rural Prosecutor-based: Victim/Witness Division of Greene County Prosecutor’s Office, Xenia, OH
Victim Assistance Unit, Rochester Police Department • Began in 1975 with an LEAA grant • Services are located in the police department’s Central Investigation Division (CID) • Provides assistance in filing for compensation, victim outreach, case status, court process, restitution, property, transportation, home/hospital visits, accompaniment to court, agency referrals, counseling, and education programs
Victim Assistance Unit, Rochester Police Department • FACIT - • Provides “crisis intervention, short-term counseling, follow-up support services for child victims, domestic trouble, and juvenile delinquency” • Liaison with Child Protective Services • Utilizes community human service agencies and law enforcement personnel • FACIT counseling specialists • Staffed from 8am to 10pm with 1 program coordinator and 8 counseling specialists
Victim Assistance Unit, Rochester Police Department • FACIT is involved in cases of child abuse in neglect in two ways: • A child abuse specialist being requested a the scene of the crime, to meet the victim at the hospital, or to assist at the police interview • Paperwork is forwarded to the CARE Unit where it is logged in and assigned a child abuse specialist • Most child abuse and neglect cases remain open and active for 2-3 months, and are closed with no prosecution.
Crime Victim Centers of Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN • Began in 1977 • Is operated by the Minnesota Citizens Council on Crime and Justice, a nonprofit organization formed in 1959 to provide a vehicle for citizen involvement in the criminal justice system • The CVC provides a place where victims of violent and property crime may call or come for help beyond what the police provide - elderly & handicapped services, information and referral resources, and court-related services.
Victim/Witness Services of Milwaukee County, WI • Victim/Witness Services Unit is located in the District Attorney’s Office • Victim/Witness Services – Children’s Court Center • Court Watch • Sexual Assault Counseling Unit • Witness Protection Unit
Victim/Witness Division of the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office, Xenia, OH • Created in 1982 • Provides services to all victims of crime from the time the crime is reported through the entire investigation and prosecution process.
Conclusion • 3 primary auspices for victim/witness assistance programs: • law enforcement departments, • prosecutor’s offices, and • not-for-profit criminal justice/social service agencies.