Under limited supervision, this position acts as an advocate for victims, victims' families, and witnesses in order to minimize the negative impact of the criminal justice system. Victim Witness Assistants in the District Attorney's Office have a dual role: to be a Victim Assistant, supporting and educating the victim as they go through the Criminal Justice System, and to assist the Deputy District Attorney in the prosecution of the case by maintaining case management on all witnesses subpoenaed for court hearings.
Bilingual in English and Spanish highly desirable.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Other duties may be assigned. (any one position may not include all of the duties listed nor do the listed examples include all duties which may be found in positions of this class.)
•Provide constitutionally and statutorily mandated direct services to victims of felony and misdemeanor crimes. Initiate contact with victims and witnesses upon review of felony or misdemeanor case summaries, conducts initial needs assessments, provide appropriate community referrals, assist with application for victims' compensation and restitution. Provide education and support to victims, witnesses and families by performing the following services: accompanying victims and/or witnesses to court appearances as needed; educating victims about the criminal justice process and familiarizing them with the courtroom as necessary; responding to questions regarding the judicial process and explain various pre-trial procedures; explaining HIV testing to sexual assault victims and providing follow-up support, advising victims regarding HIV test results, and providing appropriate support and follow-up services.
•Manage trials and other critical events by scheduling meetings with prosecutors and investigators to discuss victims'/witnesses' needs and issues; contacting all witnesses and advising of trial/critical event status and appearance times; coordinating local and out-of-state transportation and lodging for victims and witnesses; planning pre-trial meetings with victims and prosecutors and attending same as required; preparing victims and witnesses for testimony; corresponding with victims and witnesses regarding travel arrangement and case status; and providing phone contact regarding case status.
•Coordinate interviews with all individuals and officials involved in the case, attending interviews as required.
•Develop plans of action and provides conflict resolution for situations and/or problems that may arise with victims and/or witnesses to facilitate emotional healing and to enhance the State's ability to effectively prosecute defendants; performs the following services as needed: intervene with employers to explain judicial process and employer's obligations under the law not to penalize employees for testifying, taking steps to educate employers on issues of "re-victimization" and on how to support employees during the healing process; assists victims and/or witnesses in developing a safety plan, including referring to safe houses, coordinating transportation, advising police and DA's regarding threats, tampering and stalking of victims and witnesses; provide a continued plan of counseling and therapy for the victim and/or witness by making referrals to victim service agencies, therapists and support groups.
•Serve as liaison among various officials and agencies in the judicial system; mediates differences that arise between witnesses and judicial personnel; educates victims and witnesses regarding legal procedure and encourages them to participate in the judicial process.
•Maintain case records and files, collecting and reporting restitution and statistical information.
•Perform outreach activities, providing agencies and/or the public with information regarding Victim Witness Assistance Unit and activities offered.
•Attend seminars, conferences, workshops, classes, lectures, etc., as appropriate to enhance and maintain knowledge of trends and developments in field; review professional journals, attend association and professional meetings; and otherwise maintain contacts with professionals to facilitate exchange of information.
•Locate victims and witnesses as required, and contact victims and witnesses when trial or other court dates are vacated.
•Obtain interpreters for victims and witnesses as needed.
•Perform other related work as required.
Bachelor's Degree in Human Services, Criminal Justice, or closely related field.
Experience in crime victim services required.
Must have a working knowledge of personal computer.
Bilingual in English and Spanish preferred, but not required.
Other Necessary Requirements
Working Knowledge in the Following Areas:
•Principles, practices, and objectives as related to the criminal justice system and prosecution, crisis intervention techniques, counseling methods, and interviewing techniques in a victim/witness program.
•Principles of human behavior.
•Record-keeping and reporting procedures.
•Routine software and business applications, including but not limited to, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software, and databases.
•Scope and application of laws and regulations pertaining to victim/witness programs.
•Considerable knowledge of Victim's Rights Enabling Legislation, Colorado criminal statutes, rules of procedure, criminal justice components and procedures.
•Communicate clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing.
•Ability to prepare and/or correct a variety of correspondence and applications.
•Ability to communicate effectively with clients from a variety of socioeconomic
•Establish and maintain effective working relationships with other County employees,
representatives of other agencies and organizations, and members of the community.
•Travel to other jurisdictions to participate in special prosecutions or in remote offices as
•Ability to oversee the management of court cases.
•Evaluate and apply program policies and procedures.
•Effectively respond to conflict situations and people in conflict.
•Provide empathetic support to victims and witnesses and extract pertinent information from interviews and reports.
•Skill in the use of common office machines, including popular computer based word
processing, spreadsheet and file maintenance programs.