Crisis Intervention and Advocacy Services
The Advocates are trained to help victims and witnesses cope with the psychological trauma caused by criminal acts. We attempt to help those persons become more comfortable with their role in the process. Very often the impact of the crime is not fully realized until days or months following the event. Therefore, it is crucial that we provide the emotional support that will aid in their recovery and enable them to participate in the prosecution of their case.
Written and Oral Case Status Notification
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 inquires which give us an opportunity to provide basic explanations of the criminal proceedings and the caller’s role in that proceeding. The following events generate automated case status notification letters:
- New Cases: The Initial Contact letter informs victims that the case has been received. A Victim Information Form is solicited for the case screening process. Case screening determines whether a case stays in Superior Court or is remanded to Municipal Court.
- Pre-Grand Jury Remand Notification
- Administrative Dismissal
- Grand Jury Remand
- Grand Jury Dismissal (no bill)
- Grand Jury Indictment Returned (true bill)
- Acceptance into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI)
- Termination from or Completion of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program
- Negotiated Plea on all Charges
- Released on Bail/Conditions of Bail
- Fugitive Status
- Court Dismissal
- Sentencing Date – Victim Impact Statement
- Sentence Imposed
- Parole Registry/Parole Eligibility
- Released from Prison/Expiration of Sentence/Furlough/Community Release Programs
Victim Advocates will explain the Criminal Justice System and provide other “Direct Services” to victims and their families. “Direct Services” include but are not limited to the following:
Advocacy on behalf of the victims and witnesses within the criminal justice system
Victim input is solicited in the form of a written Victim Information Form, however witness input is verbal. The needs of the victims and witnesses are relayed to the appropriate persons.
Assistance with completion of the Victims of Crime Compensation Office (VCCO) Claim Applications
Victims of violent crime including Homicide, Aggravated Assault, Sex Offenses, Death by Auto, Domestic Violence and Robbery who incur out-of-pocket expenses as a result of a crime may be eligible for VCCO Compensation. Compensation is awarded for medical expenses, funeral expenses, counseling fees, loss of support and lost wages.
Crisis counseling and subsequent referrals for therapeutic counseling
The Director and Advocates are trained in the area of crisis intervention. Our extensive counseling referral list enables us to make referrals to appropriate professionals who specialize in working with victims and are conveniently located. Referrals are also made to specific support groups.
HIV Testing of Defendants
Victims who are exposed to a defendant’s bodily fluids such as saliva, blood or semen, or victims who were pricked with a hypodermic needle may ask the Court to order the defendant to submit to a HIV or AIDS test. The Victim-Witness staff will help facilitate that process.
Registration with the N.J. State Parole Board
Victims of first and second degree offenses are given the opportunity to register with the Parole Board Victim Services Unit. Registration with the State Parole Board will ensure notification of an inmate’s request to leave the prison population and serve the remainder of their sentence in a community based halfway house. The registration also ensures that the State Parole Board’s Victim Services Unit will solicit written or oral input regarding the defendant’s release on parole.
Prison Release Notifications
The Victim-Witness staff can assist with finding out where the defendant is housed, how much time has been served and the anticipated parole eligibility date. In addition the Prosecutor’s Office notifies victims and the arresting agency of the inmate’s release date if they are registered for notification.
Notice Of Appeals
Registration with the Division of Criminal Justice – Appellate Bureau will ensure notification of an appeal and the outcome. The Advocates or Director can assist with this registration.
Referrals for emergency financial assistance
Victims may be referred to County agencies that provide emergency funds that meet their specific needs.
Victims are assisted in gathering the documentation necessary to support their requests for court ordered restitution.
Recovery of personal property
When the actual items are not needed as evidence for trial, a request is submitted to the prosecuting attorney to return the property to its owner. If the attorney wishes to retain the property for trial, the request to release will be processed at a later date.
School, creditor, employer or insurance company intervention
Intervention is provided to minimize the problems the victims and witnesses may experience as a result of participating in the prosecution of a case.
Crime prevention orientation
Victims and witnesses who report subsequent harassment or intimidation receive orientation about the remedies available. They also receive orientation on ways to avoid future victimization. When necessary victims are referred to their local police department crime prevention officers for practical steps they can take to keep their homes and themselves safe.
Child care services
On-site child care is provided for persons who are subpoenaed to testify.
Prosecutor’s agents provide transportation for court related appearances
This service is provided during investigative interviews, trial or grand jury preparation meetings and during the trial. For information or assistance call: 732-431-6459
Victim Information Notification Everyday (VINE) registration
Victim Advocates will assist victims and witnesses with VINE registration. The New Jersey VINE Service will tell you if an offender is in custody in the State of New Jersey and will give you other important information. VINE will also let you register telephone numbers where you can be notified if an offender is released or transferred.