Value of volunteers to the Victim Assistance Unit
The criminal justice system is overwhelming to the majority of people who become involved as a victims or witnesses. As a volunteer you will have an opportunity to advocate for the victim. You will help educate the public to the criminal justice process, while enhancing the efficiency of prosecuting the case. Volunteers help the unit to serve more victims in a timely manner and also allow for more individualized time to be given to victims. As a volunteer, you will benefit from the opportunity to expand your personal and professional growth.
Provide notification and information to victims concerning the victim's case and the criminal justice system. Refer victims to available services/resources to help reduce the physical, social and psychological problems resulting from victimization. Assist victims with protective orders. Escort victims and witnesses to court and sign them up for witness fees. Make telephone contact with victims to answer questions and explain information we have sent them. Attend first appearances to gather information for the unit. Answer phones and do other office work such as filing and entering information into the computer.
- Ability to work with professionals and the public
- Commitment to confidentiality
- Must be at least 18 years
- Sensitivity to the needs of others
- Willingness to commit time on a regular basis
- Ability to communicate effectively
- Attention to detail
- No criminal history
15 to 20 hours of training is provided prior to volunteering. The training sessions include: history of the unit, overview of the criminal justice system, victim's issues, protective orders, community resources, courtroom protocol, overview of our computer system and other specific skills used on the unit.
"Volunteers Make the Difference"