Becoming a victim of a criminal act is often a traumatic and disorienting experience for individuals. Victims are faced with an increased sense of vulnerability and threat to their personal autonomy and independence. Victims can also question their beliefs on safety and the order that they have come to expect from the community that they live in.
Genesee Justice works with victims to help them attain a more personal sense of justice. The investigation and prosecution of offenders within the criminal justice system is complex and foreign to most people, particularly as to how it impacts victims. Dignity doesn’t often come easy within the courtroom or the community. We encourage victims to empower themselves, which is critical to the healing process.
We will keep victims informed of what is happening with the investigation of the accused and guide them through any role they may need to play. We will take the time to explain to victims what they can expect during the proceedings of a case when it goes into court. We will accompany victims to any process and court proceedings. We will assist victims in seeking counseling services. We will also help to address financial losses incurred as a result of the crime, including assisting victims in filling out applications for the New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS), if they are eligible. The OVS helps victims with unexpected or unaffordable medical or funeral expenses, loss of work and counseling services.
A victim may be referred to Genesee Justice by the District Attorney’s Office, Family Court, or Law Enforcement. Our door is always open for victims to walk in themselves.
Victim Assistance Services:
- Assistance in filing Office of Victim Services application
- Provide information on VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) and assist victim with VINE registration, if interested
- Provide updates on status of court case
- Assistance in preparing pre-sentence investigation packet:
- Restitution information
- Victim impact statement
- Provide home visits
- Refer clients to appropriate agencies for further assistance
- Assistance in preparing right of allocution (the victim’s right to speak in front of the Court at sentencing)
- Assistance in preparing application for orders of protection
- Accompaniment to court appearances
- Provide information regarding child care at the court facility while client is in court
- Provide referrals for counseling
- Provide referrals for emergency items if needed by victims
- Assistance in writing letters to parole board
- Offer opportunity for victim/offender conference if desired by the victim