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Victim Assistance Program

Janice Joslin - Circuit Court Victim Witness Coordinator

Julie Hicks - Circuit Court Victim Witness Coordinator

Angie Haney - District Court Victim Witness Coordiantor

 

When a violent crime is committed in Crawford County it touches us all. We as a community suffer in the aftermath, when an innocent person is victimized. Even if you are not personally a victim of a violent crime, then perhaps you know a relative, friend, neighbor or coworker who is. When one is a victim of, or a witness to, a violent crime, there are a multitude of reactions one can suffer. These run the gamut from emotional and physical to financial and spiritual.

Those who have become a victim often feel violated in every sense of the word. There has been a traumatic intrusion in their lives, which creates feelings of sadness, pain and anger. This same intrusion and these same feelings are not only experienced by their family members and close friends but also trickle down to coworkers and neighbors.

For these reasons, the Crawford County Prosecutor's Office has created the Victim Assistance Program. We recognize and acknowledge that victims, their families and the community as a whole, look to the criminal justice system, for vindication and justice. However, they are often angered and frustrated at a system, which appears to be protecting the very people, who have caused them to be in this position, in the first place. Unfortunately, it is an extremely difficult time for those who have been affected by a violent crime, to try to understand the intricacies of the criminal justice system.

It is also important to note, that the prosecutor's office functions with a large staff comprised of attorneys, clerical support, law clerks and investigators, from various law enforcement agencies, to prepare and prosecute these violent crimes. However, the key element to being most effective, lies within the domain of the Victim Assistance Program. It is the Victim Assistance Coordinators or Advocates job to tend to the needs of victims and in some case witnesses. They help to demystify, explain and answer questions throughout this highly emotional process.

Therefore, one of the primary areas the Victim Assistance Program encompasses is to be a guide through the criminal justice system.