Interview With a Representative of a Victim Term Paper

Pages: 3 (999 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Interview With a Representative of a Victim's Rights Agency

Two weeks ago, I conducted a phone interview with the director of the Victim-Witness Advocacy Unit of Monmouth County, which is located in Freehold, New Jersey. The Unit states that it is designed: "to provide victims and witnesses with easy access to information about their cases and provide them with support services throughout the prosecution. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:4B-36, certain services must be afforded to victims and witnesses involved in indictable offenses. However, in recent years, we have also attempted to enhance services to victims whose cases have been remanded to Municipal Court" (Victim/Witness, 2013, Office of Monmouth County Prosecutor). The mission of the Unit is thus very broad and over-reaching and a typical day of an employee might include coming to work to talk to a witness in a domestic violence case; directing a victim to critical services to deal with PTSD and dealing with calls from the prosecutor's office about evidence and witness testimony.

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According to the Director, one of the exciting things about the Unit is the diversity of services it offers and the eclectic nature of the workday: "no day is the same." However, conversely the 'garbage can' approach to assigning so many tasks to the Unit has its downside, causing employees to often feel spread very 'thin' in terms of their ability to help people. For an office of such a vast scope in terms of its mission, the Unit is surprisingly small. There is a single Director/Coordinator and only four official managerial support personnel along with administrative staff and student interns. The Unit serves Monmouth County, one of the larger, more densely-populated areas in New Jersey, so there is a considerable breadth and depth to its responsibilities.

Term Paper on Interview With a Representative of a Victim's Assignment

A critical component of the agency is the dissemination of information to witnesses. "Case status notification letters are sent to victims and witnesses throughout prosecution, during the parole process and upon the expiration of prison terms. Case status letters frequently generate telephone inquiries which give us an opportunity to provide basic explanations of the criminal proceedings and the caller's role in that proceeding" (Victim/Witness, 2013, Office of Monmouth County Prosecutor).However, although the Unit may at times struggle to fully address all victim needs, it has an extremely worthwhile mission. Some of the functions it serves seem very simple, yet are vital to ensure that victims feel as though they are truly part of the process of the prosecution of their crimes and the bringing to justice of the perpetrators. For example, "case status notification letters are sent to victims and witnesses throughout prosecution, during the parole process and upon the expiration of prison terms" (Victim/Witness, 2013, Office of Monmouth County Prosecutor). Until they become victims, many of the persons the agency serves are unaware of the requirements of the criminal justice process. The Unit keeps them informed of grand jury, jury, and sentencing proceedings and helps them understand the different legal requirements of each phase of the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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