VICTIM ASSISTANCE ADVOCATE
Under direction, coordinates the involvement of victims of crime through the criminal court system, to coordinate support for victims of crimes and performs other work as required.
This classification in the District Attorney’s Office is responsible for coordinating and providing a variety of services to victims of crime. Incumbents must be able to identify with, assess and be sensitive to the needs of victims of crime, and relate well with individuals from a variety of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Incumbents are expected to independently carry assigned cases with minimal guidance.
The class is distinguished from the next higher classification of Victim/Witness Assistance Program Coordinator in that the latter class has responsibility for program coordination and supervision of the program staff.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES
1. Provides immediate field and office crisis intervention services to victims of crime by interviewing them, identifying their needs and referring them to the appropriate community resources; provides follow-up to assure victim’s needs are being met.
2. Interviews victims and gathers information to determine their eligibility for reimbursement and restitution by various federal and State programs and agencies; assists them in completing, verifying and submitting reimbursement claims.
3. Advises and provides support for victims in order to reduce their stress and anxiety by keeping them informed of the status of cases, explaining criminal justice and police procedures, and being available to respond to their questions and concerns regarding the criminal justice process.
4. Prepares victims of crime for their participation in the criminal justice system by educating them on the criminal justice process and the various steps involved, escorting them to court and community resource agencies for assistance, and providing reassurance when having to face a defendant in court.
5. Establishes and maintains a list of community referral and service agencies.
6. Keeps current of and interprets rules, regulations and policy regarding State victim reimbursement and restitution programs.
7. Serves as a liaison between the victim and community resource agencies, police agencies and judicial agencies; keeps attorneys up to date of the status, reaction, emotional states and extenuating circumstances of a victim’s case; works with various federal and state governmental agencies providing restitution and assistance concerning program policies, procedures and client eligibility.
8. Keeps current of the court calendar; coordinates victim and/or witness court appearances, arranges meetings with police agents, attorneys and community resource agencies.
9. Conducts educational presentations on the Victim/Witness Assistance Program for community groups, schools and law enforcement agencies; answers public inquiries regarding the program; solicits participation from volunteers.
10. Attends training and educational conferences to stay current on issue, trend and developments in the field of victim/witness assistance programs.
11. Completes forms; maintains case files; calculates costs; writes reports and correspondence.
12. Performs administrative tasks such as tracking and tallying workload statistics for the Victim/Witness Assistance Program and compiles and summarizes program information for grant applications.
13. Trains and orients new program staff.
A combination of experience, education, and/or training which substantially demonstrates the following knowledges, skills and abilities:
Knowledges and Skills:
Working knowledge of:
1. The laws, procedures and legal terminology used in the criminal justice system pertaining to victim assistance programs
2. The various community agencies, organizations and individuals who provide assistance to victims of crime
3. The principles and techniques of interviewing in order to gather factual information
4. State and federal agencies and programs that provide reimbursement and assistance to victims of crime
Some knowledge of:
1. Standard office procedures and record keeping practices.
2. Techniques used to counsel individuals under emotional stress.
Skill and Ability to:
1. Gather and analyze data and draw logical conclusions and/or recommend an effective course of action
2. Communicate orally for the purpose of gathering sensitive, factual information from victims of crime and for speaking before groups
3. Recognize the symptoms of emotional stress and trauma of victims of crime and obtain the appropriate assistance
4. Exhibit tact, sensitivity and a supportive attitude when dealing with victims of crime from a wide variety of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds
5. Gain the confidence and cooperation of victims of crime
6. Write clearly and concisely
7. Work under minimal daily supervision within a framework of policies and procedures and independently organize and prioritize work
8. Work under pressure of deadlines
9. Read and interpret federal and State laws and procedures pertaining to reimbursement and restitution for victims of crime
10. Provide excellent and courteous customer service and establish and maintain effective working relationships
EXAMPLES OF EXPERIENCE/EDUCATION/TRAINING
The knowledges, skills and abilities listed above may be acquired through various types of experiences, education or training, typically:
Approximately two years of clerical or paraprofessional experience within the criminal justice system
Coursework in a behavioral science such as psychology, sociology or other related field.
REQUIRED CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
As a condition of employment, the incumbent will be required to:
1. Successfully complete a background investigation that includes a fingerprint and DMV check.
2. Possess a valid California class C driver license or be able to provide suitable transportation that is approved by the appointing authority.
Class Code: 60K02 Bargaining Unit: J
Established Date: February, 2000 EEO Category: PP
Work Group: 13
NT Approved by: