Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces initiative to assist victims of identity theft

June 13

Identity Theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America with over 240,000 cases reported to Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse in 2004. In response to the need for victims to act quickly and the confusing array of information on what for victims should be doing, State’s Attorney Glasgow has created a packet of information for victims of Identity Theft. This packet contains the immediate steps to take and critical contact information, assisting victims from suffering further damage to their hard-earned credit reputation. The packet also informs the victim on how to begin the process of identity recovery.

The Identity Theft Victim Packet will be available in English and Spanish at your local police department and at the State’s Attorney’s Office at 121 N. Chicago Street in downtown Joliet.

Glasgow states: “My priority is assisting the victims of Identity Theft to quickly report the crime to the appropriate agencies, abating financial loss and beginning the process to restore their identity.” Glasgow continues, “By giving victims the correct information on what to do and when, victims can better assist law enforcement with capturing all relevant data necessary for a successful prosecution.”

For more information on the Identity Theft packets, please call your local police department.

America Celebrates the Silver Anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week “Justice Isn’t Served Until Crime Victims Are”

April 7

JOLIET – Twenty-five years ago, President Ronald W. Reagan declared the first National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to pay tribute to crime victims and to recognize the devastating impact of violence on individuals, communities and our nation as a whole. In proclaiming the first National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in 1981 and then establishing the President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime, he stated, “Our commitment to criminal justice goes far deeper than our desire to punish the guilty or to deter those considering a lawless course. Our laws represent the collective moral voice of a free society – a voice that articulates our shared beliefs about the roles of civilized behavior. Both the observance of Crime Victims’ Week and the creation of this Task Force are entirely consistent with principles that lie at the heart of our nation’s belief in freedom under law.” 

During the week of April 10 to 16, 2005, the 25th anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will be observed across our nation by victims and survivors and the professionals and volunteers who assist them. This year’s theme – “Justice Isn’t Served Until Crime Victims Are” – emphasizes the importance of providing support and assistance to victims as a critical and core component of justice in America. 

Since 1981, the field of victims’ rights and services has contributed to many accomplishments that enhance individual and community safety. Today, there are over 10,000 justice system- and community-based programs that inform and educate victims about their rights, and provide supportive services to help them cope with the physical, emotional, financial and spiritual impact of crime. Over 32,000 laws have been passed at the state and federal levels that define and protect victims’ rights, including constitutional amendments in 32 states. Comprehensive responses and programs have also been created that ensure a sensitive and effective response to victims of domestic and international terrorism and mass violence. 

In America today, victim service programs offer a wide range of services that include crisis intervention, counseling, safety planning, and advocacy throughout the criminal or juvenile justice system; and state victim compensation programs help victims recover from the many costs associated with criminal victimization. 

According to John W. Gillis, Director of the Office for Victims of Crime within the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, “justice isn’t served until crime victims are.” 

“Anyone who is truly concerned about justice should also be concerned that victims and survivors are treated with dignity and compassion, educated about their rights under law, and offered services to help them cope in the aftermath of crime,” Gillis explained. “Only when we consistently serve victims in our communities are we truly serving justice.” 

State’s Attorney James Glasgow and Sheriff Paul Kaupas note that justice is continually served in Will County through victim assistance programs that identify and address the immediate-, short- and long-term needs of crime victims and survivors. 

“At the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department, anyone who is victimized by crime can receive information about their rights, and the many services available to assist them,” Glasgow said. “If you or someone you know is a victim of crime, we can help. Or if you’d like to volunteer for victims, many opportunities are available.” 

Kelly Sullivan has been the Program Director for the State’s Attorney’s Victim and Witness Services Program since 1998 and states “Often victim’s voices are silent and their rights are overlooked. This is a week when we acknowledge and recognize that victims exist, have voices, and have rights.” 

Since taking office in 2002, Sheriff Kaupas has been a big supporter in the implementation of a social worker position for the Will County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Department Social Worker Bonnie McPhillips has served over 1300 victims providing support through referral information, crisis intervention and counseling, and adds “Providing victims with an avenue of continuing support is essential to their healing and future well-being”. 

Additionally, crime victims can be in dire need of financial assistance. The tragic death of Doug Petan during an armed robbery at Jiffy Lube in Crest Hill in 1995 provided the impetus for a solution to this serious problem. A five-thousand dollar contribution was offered by Jiffy Lube in honor of Doug Petan, and State’s Attorney Glasgow and Doug’s parents, Josie and Bill, worked to create the Douglas C. Petan Crime Victim Assistance Fund, a 501(c) (3) charitable organization. 

Since most problems are best solved at the grass roots level, the Petan Fund provides a local vehicle to offer much needed financial assistance to victims of crimes. Once criminal charges are brought, the employers of a crime victim can be asked to consider a donation to the Petan Fund in their employee’s name. The contribution is tax-deductible and allows employers to participate in a meaningful way in the criminal justice system. 

Members of our community are encouraged to join crime victims and those who serve them in commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 10th to 16th. For additional information about the Silver Anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week visit www.crimevictims.gov. For information on how the State’s Attorney’s Office can assist victims, visit www.willcountysao.com or call the State’s Attorney’s Office at 815-727-8453.

Will County State’s Attorney’s Office sponsors 3rd Annual Children’s Fun Fair in Joliet

March 24

JOLIET — The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with the Children’s Advocacy Center and numerous other social service agencies throughout the community, are sponsors of the 3 rd Annual Children’s Fun Fair in Joliet. The Fun Fair will be held on April 16, 2005, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm at the JT West High School Cafeteria, 401 N. Larkin Ave. This event will bring attention to National Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Month. The theme is: “Celebrating Kids: It Takes a Community to Protect a Child”. Activities include: puppet show, dog drill team, clown, car seat check, mascot “Jammer” from the Joliet Jackhammers baseball team, interactive fun activities for the kids, such as arts and crafts, make your own stuffed animal, stamping art, developmental screenings for children, games, face painting, and more! Social service agencies will also have information tables.

All activities, snacks, and admission are absolutely free!

James W. Glasgow, Will County State’s Attorney, fully supports this event as a positive way to reach out to kids and families in our local community.

State’s Attorney Glasgow, Sheriff Kaupas bring information on Identity Theft to senior citizens

March 22

State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow and Sheriff Paul Kaupas have teamed up to bring important information to Will County Senior Citizens on how to prevent becoming victims of scams and identity theft. In the past few months, they have spoken to hundreds of area seniors on common scams and common methods of scammers and identity theft. 

Some common scams are unfair pricing, shoddy goods, inflated interest rates, poor service, and crooked schemes. Seniors should check with a trusted friend or family member before signing a contract, making a major purchase, or investing money. Common methods of scammers include making an offer of something for nothing, pressure to sign or buy something right away and unwillingness to explain the details of a service, trick wording or vague language, and/or a promise of a kickback. One of the fastest growing types of scam is phone solicitation, and seniors are warned to never give personal information to someone over the phone, unless the citizen has initiated the call to a valid business. Senior citizens are also warned that unscrupulous phone solicitors are very cunning and can sound very sincere, and it is very difficult to tell a legitimate solicitation from an illegitimate one, so it may be in their best interest to have a standing rule that they do not participate in phone solicitations. A couple very important thing for seniors to know; it is okay to hang up the phone, and it is okay to not open your door to strangers. 

Identity theft is another growing concern for all citizens as well as seniors. Some important things to know in order to prevent yourself from becoming a victim is to again, don’t give out any personal information over the phone; credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank account numbers. If someone is persistent and they say they are from your bank, get their name and call the number that is listed in your phone book to check on the validity of the call. Citizens should destroy all carbons and charge slips as well as mail with personal information or credit card offers, and should always check credit card statements for unauthorized charges. Seniors are also warned to beware of veteran, police and firefighter scams. If you want to donate, call your local agency and ask how. Don’t fall for phone or mail scams that promise you money in exchange for a fee or with a band account number, they are criminals trying to get your money. If seniors have access to the Internet, they can find current scam alerts and find out how to get free credit reports at http://www.ag.state.il.us/. If you think you have been a victim of a scam or consumer fraud, call your local police department. If your group would like to hear more about Senior Scams and Identity Theft prevention, please call the State’s Attorney’s Crime Prevention Speaker’s Bureau at 815-727-8742.

National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW) is March 20-26

March 20

Inhalant use is typically not a concern for most parents, as use of alcohol and marijuana are much more predominant. However, in Illinois, 4.2 percent of 8th graders have used Inhalants in the past 30 days, whereas in Will County, 6.0 percent of 8th graders report using Inhalants in the past 30 days (Illinois Youth Survey, 2002). Inhalants are a very real cause for concern, and parents should talk to their children about the dangers of inhalants at an early age.

Developmentally, pre-adolescents and adolescents are risk takers. There are plenty of ways for teens and pre-teens to take risks in healthy ways; sports, academic achievement, and hobbies. However, there are also lots of dangerous activities our kids can find themselves involved in if we as parents aren’t careful to monitor their free time and their friends.

One of those dangerous activities is use of inhalants, or “huffing”. “Huffing” is the abuse of household products in order to get a “high”. It is also one of those unusual illicit activities that more males than females engage in and peaks in 8th grade, declining in later years. Recent statistics state that one in five students in America has used an inhalant to get high by the time he or she reaches the eighth grade.

Common products used as inhalants include: Adhesives model airplane glue, rubber cement, household glue Aerosols (spray paint, hairspray, air freshener, deodorant, fabric protector), Solvents and gases (nail polish remover, paint thinner, type correction fluid and thinner, toxic markers, pure toluene, cigar lighter fluid, gasoline, carburetor cleaner, octane booster), Cleaning agents (dry cleaning fluid, spot remover, degreaser) Food products (vegetable cooking spray, dessert topping spray (whipped cream), whippets), Gases (nitrous oxide, butane, propane, helium), Anesthetic (nitrous oxide, ether, chloroform), Amyl (“Poppers,” “Snappers” Butyl “Rush,” “Locker room,” “Bolt,” “Climax,” also marketed in head shops as “video head cleaner”). Some other important facts to know include:

  • Inhalants are often first substance used before marijuana and cocaine. In fact, inhalant use often appears before onset of tobacco or alcohol use
  • Experimental use takes place in late childhood & early adolescence, use patterns are short lived, with cessation in late adolescence
  • Chronic use appears in early & late adolescence
  • Users can get high several times over a short period because inhalants are short acting with a rapid onset and inhalants are attractive to children who don’t like delayed gratification
  • Young people involved with inhalant abuse are likely to participate in other illegal activities like theft and burglary and can be more disruptive, deviant or delinquent than other drug users
  • Inhalant abusers are predominately white with minority involvement concentrated in American and Canadian Native American Indians, and low income Hispanics
  • There is a common link between inhalant use and problems in school — failing grades, chronic absences and general apathy. Other signs include the following:
    • Paint or stains on body or clothing
    • Spots or sores around the mouth
    • Red or runny eyes or nose
    • Chemical breath odor
    • Drunk, dazed or dizzy appearance
    • Nausea, loss of appetite
    • Anxiety, excitability, irritability
  • The user can also suffer from Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. The user can die the 1st, 10th or 100th time he or she uses an inhalant

For more information on inhalant abuse, what to look for or what to do to help your child, visit http://www.inhalants.org and http://www.theantidrug.com

United Way receives record-breaking contribution from Will County State’s Attorney’s office


JOLIET — The United Way received a record-breaking contribution from the Will County State’s Attorney’s office. The office staff gave over $3,270.00 to the United Way this year, which was the largest donation ever from the office. On Monday, March 1, 2005, Bridget Domberg came to the State’s Attorney’s Office and spoke to the staff about the importance and the role United Way plays to help people all over the Will County area and around the world. On March 18th the drive ended and 5 staff members gave one of their vacation days each toward the finale. We then had a drawing and picked 5 winners who received an extra vacation day. Last year the total was less than $100.00 and it is clear that this staff not only works hard to serve the people of the county everyday but they go beyond by giving their money back to the community through the United Way.

Kendall County utilizes Victim Sensitive Interview Room

The Will County Child Advocacy Center, created by Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow in 1985, is proud to announce that on March 10th, Kendall County began utilizing its own Victim Sensitive Interview Room in the new Department of Human Services building in Yorkville, Illinois. In a continuing collaborative agreement between Glasgow and Kendall County State’s Attorney Tim McCann and with financial support from Kendall County, the Will County Child Advocacy Center will continue to provide trained forensic staff to conduct the interviews, allowing traumatized children to be served close to home, rather than traveling to the Advocacy Center in downtown Joliet.

The Child Advocacy Center is responsible for conducting victim sensitive interviews with children who have been victims of sexual or severe physical abuse, and provides a child-friendly environment and aids in the prosecution of these cases. For more information about the Will County Child Advocacy Center, call Executive Director Sue Bloch at 815-727-0710.