Victim Witness and Domestic Violence Services

Victim Witness Services

The office of Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow includes a Victim Witness Services Unit that provides services to victims and witnesses of crime who reside or were victimized in the County of Will.

Our Victim advocates will explain services, assess needs, provide resources and referrals, inform crime victims of their rights, how to assert those rights, provide notice of case status, explain court process and proceedings, and provide and coordinate support services during the criminal justice process. Advocates may also accompany victims to court to be available to offer support, explain proceedings, act as a liaison to the prosecutor, and ensure safety precautions are considered and implemental when needed.

To speak with a Victim Advocate, please call our Victim Witness Services Unit at (815) 740-8079 or (815) 724-1380.

The Rights and Responsibilities of Crime Victims and Witnesses

The Constitution of the State of Illinois declares that crime victims have certain legal rights. These rights ensure that people who have been the victim of violent crimes are treated with fairness and respect throughout the criminal justice system.

Additionally, the laws which protect the rights of crime victims also afford certain basic rights and considerations to the witness of violent crime – the people who are essential to a successful prosecution.

As passed by the Illinois General Assembly, these rights include:

  1. The right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy and to be free from harassment, intimidation, and abuse throughout the criminal justice process.
  2. The right to notice and to a hearing before a court ruling on a request for access to any of the victim’s records, information, or communications that are privileged or confidential by law.
  3. The right to timely notification of all court proceedings.
  4. The right to communicate with the prosecution.
  5. The right to be heard at any post-arraignment court proceeding in which a right of the victim is at issue and any court proceeding involving a post-arraignment release decision, plea, or sentencing.
  6. The right to be notified of the conviction, the sentence the imprisonment and the release of the accused.
  7. The right to the timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused.
  8. The right to be reasonably protected from the accused through the criminal justice process.
  9. The right to have the safety of the victims and the victim’s family considered in denying or fixing the amount of bail, determining whether to release the defendant and setting conditions of release after arrest and conviction.
  10. The right to be represented at the trial and all other court proceedings on the same basis as the accused, unless the victim is to testify and the court determines that the victim’s testimony would be materially affected if the victim hears other testimony at the trial.
  11. The right to have present at all court proceedings, including proceedings under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, subject to the rules of evidence, an advocate and another support person of the victim’s choice.
  12. The right to restitution.

Rights to Witnesses:

A “Witness” means any person who personally observed the commission of a crime and who will testify on behalf of the State of Illinois; or a person who will be called by the prosecution to give testimony establishing a necessary nexus between the offender and the violent crime. A witness under this definition as in the Illinois Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act shall have the following rights:

  1. To be notified by the Office of the State’s Attorney of all court proceedings at which the witness’ presence is required in a reasonable amount of time prior to the proceeding, and to be notified of the cancellation of any scheduled court proceedings in sufficient time to prevent an unnecessary appearance in court, where possible;
  2. To be provided with appropriate employer intercession services by the Office of the State’s Attorney or the victim advocate personnel to ensure that employers of witnesses will cooperate with the criminal justice system in order to minimize an employee’s loss of pay and other benefits resulting from court appearances;
  3. To be provided, whenever possible, a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not require witnesses to be in close proximity to defendants and their families and friends;
  4. To be provided with notice by the Office of the State’s Attorney, where necessary, of the right to have a translator present whenever the witness’ presence is required and, in compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, to be provided with notice of the right to communications access through a sign language interpreter or by other means.

At the written request of the witness, the witness shall:

  1. Receive notice from the office of the State’s Attorney of any request for post-conviction review filed by the defendant under Article 122 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, and of the date, time, and place of any hearing concerning the petition for post-conviction review; whenever possible, notice of the hearing on the petition shall be given in advance;
  2.  Receive notice by the releasing authority of the defendant’s discharge from State custody if the defendant was committed to the Department of Human Services under Section 5-2-4 or any other provision of the Unified Code of Corrections;
  3.  Receive notice from the Prisoner Review Board of the prisoner’s escape from State custody, after the Board has been notified of the escape by the Department of Corrections or the Department of Juvenile Justice; when the escapee is apprehended, the Department of Corrections or the Department of Juvenile Justice shall immediately notify the Prisoner Review Board and the Board shall notify the witness;
  4.  Receive notice from the Prisoner Review Board or the Department of Juvenile Justice of the prisoner’s release on parole, aftercare release, electronic detention, work release or mandatory supervised release and of the prisoner’s final discharge from parole, aftercare release, electronic detention, work release, or mandatory supervised release.

Responsibilities of victims and witnesses:

Victims and witnesses shall have the following responsibilities to aid in the prosecution of violent crime and to ensure that their constitutional rights are enforced:

  1. To make a timely report of the crime.
  2. To cooperate with law enforcement authorities throughout the investigation, prosecution, and trial.
  3. To testify at trial.
  4.  To timely provide information and documentation to the prosecuting attorney that is related to the assertion of their rights.
  5. To notify law enforcement authorities and the prosecuting attorney of any change of contact information, including but not limited to, changes of address and contact information, including but not limited to changes of address, telephone number, and email address. Law enforcement authorities and the prosecuting attorney shall maintain the confidentiality of this information. A court may find that the failure to notify the prosecuting attorney of any change in contact information constitutes a waiver of a right.

The Illinois Crime Victim Compensation Program

The Crime Victim Compensation Act was established by the Illinois General Assembly in 1973 with the primary goal of helping to reduce the financial burden imposed on victims of violent crime and their families. The Illinois Crime Victim Compensation Program can provide innocent victims and their families with up to $27,000 in financial assistance for expenses accrued as a result of a violent crime.

Who is eligible?

  1. A person killed or injured in Illinois as a result of a violent crime.
  2.  The parent of a person killed or injured in Illinois as a result of a violent crime.
  3. Dependents of homicide victims.
  4. A person who personally witnessed a violent crime in Illinois or a person whose testimony establishes a necessary nexus between the offender and the violent crime.
  5. An Illinois resident who becomes a victim in another country that does not have a crime victim compensation program.
  6. A minor (under the age of 18) who is the brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, child, or stepchild of a person killed or injured in Illinois (for mental health treatment only).
  7. A deceased person whose remains are desecrated.

What crimes are covered?

  • Arson
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Child Pornography
  • Criminal Sexual Abuse
  • Criminal Sexual Assault
  • Desecration or Removal of Human Remains
  • Dismembering of a Human Body
  • Domestic Battery
  • Driving While Under the Influence
  • Exploitation of a Child
  • Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Peace Officer
  • Hate Crimes
  • Hit and Run of a Pedestrian/Person Operating Vehicle Moved Solely by Human Power or Using a Mobility Device
  • Homicide
  • Human Trafficking
  • Involuntary Manslaughter
  • Kidnapping
  • Non-consensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images
  • Posting of Identifying or Graphic Information on Pornographic Internet Sites
  • Reckless Conduct
  • Stalking
  • Violations of Protective Orders (Domestic Violence Orders of Protection, Civil No Contact Orders, and Stalking No Contact Orders)

What are the basic qualification requirements?

  1. Notify law enforcement within 72 hours of the crime’s occurrence. In cases of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or human trafficking, notify law enforcement within 7 days.
  2. File an application within 2 years of the crime date or 1 year from the date of Indictment. (some limited exceptions may apply).
  3. Cooperate with law enforcement to arrest and prosecute the offender.
    The following also satisfies the notification and cooperation requirements:
    – Obtaining a Plenary Order of Protection, Civil No Contact Order or Stalking No Contact
    Order
    – Having a sexual assault evidence collection kit performed
    – Engage in a proceeding involving the status of a human trafficking victim
  4. The victim must not have contributed to or provoked the crime.
  5. A victim who is in jail, prison, probation, or mandatory supervised release for a felony conviction must wait until s/he is discharged from custody before compensation may be granted.

What types of expenses may the Crime Victim Compensation Program pay?

  1. Medical, hospital, and dental expenses.
  2.  Mental health treatment expenses.
    * Services must be provided by a psychiatrist, licensed clinical psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, licensed clinical professional counselor, or a Christian Science practitioner/nurse. Services performed by an unlicensed person working with a licensed person cannot be paid.
  3. Lost wages (up to a maximum of $1,250 per month) due to time missed from work that was not reimbursed by the employer with sick, vacation, or personal paid time. The victim must be employed at the time of the crime.
  4. Accessibility costs (e.g., wheelchair, walker, crutches, shower stool).
  5. Relocation costs/temporary lodging.
  6. Loss of tuition for classes dropped as a result of the crime.
  7. Crime scene cleanup (does not include replacement of damaged property).
  8. Tattoo removal costs for victims of human trafficking.
  9. Replacement services loss (i.e., domestic tasks that a victim used to perform, but is no longer able to perform due to the crime).
  10. Replacement costs for the following: locks and windows, prosthetic devices, eyeglasses and hearing aids damaged or necessary as a result of the crime, and clothing or bedding taken as evidence by the police.
  11. Funeral/burial expenses (up to a maximum of $7,500).
  12. Loss of support if the decedent was employed and supporting dependents (up to a maximum of $1,250 per month).
  13. Dependent replacement services loss (i.e., necessary domestic services that the victim would have continued to perform for the survivor’s benefit without being compensated).
  14. The maximum total payments are limited to $27,000 and several expenses have caps (e.g., funeral/burial expenses as stated above).
    The Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Program is the payor of last resort. All other sources of payment must be exhausted before an award may be issued by the Crime Victims Compensation Program including the following: medical, health, dental, or vision insurance, Public Aid, Medicare, discounts available under the Hospital Uninsured Patient Discount Act, Worker’s Compensation Benefits, life insurance, auto insurance, restitution, and any other reasonable source.

What types of expenses cannot be paid by the Crime Victim Compensation Program?

  1. Any expenses not related to the crime
  2. Pain and suffering
  3. Stolen, damaged or lost property (except locks and windows)
  4. Attorney’s fees
    Do I get the money for compensation?
    Payment will be reimbursed to you for your out-of-pocket expenses or directly reimbursed to the service providers if the bills are outstanding.

What happens when the Crime Victim Compensation Program receives my application?

  1. Your application will be reviewed by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office Crime Victim Compensation Program.
  2. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office Crime Victim Compensation Program will obtain the police report and other documents necessary to determine your eligibility.
  3. A representative from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office Crime Victim Compensation Program will contact you. Be sure to notify the Attorney General’s Office of any change in your contact information.
  4. If you are eligible, you will receive a letter requesting that you submit proof of your losses within 30 days of receiving the letter.
  5. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office Crime Victim Compensation Program will verify your losses and will make a recommendation to the Court of Claims.
  6. The Court of Claims will render a final decision based on the application and the Attorney General’s recommendation.
  7. The final decision will be mailed to you. Any and all payments will be issued by the Comptroller’s Office.
    The above information may not cover every situation. For all requirements and complete
    information, consult the Crime Victims Compensation Act, 740 ILCS 45/1 et seq. at www.ilga.gov or contact:
    Illinois Attorney General
    Crime Victim Compensation Bureau
    100 W. Randolph Street, 13th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60601
    1-800-228-3368 (Voice) 1-877-398-1130 (TTY).

You may also contact the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Services at (815) 740-8079 or (815) 724-1380 to request a Crime Victim Compensation Application and for assistance completing the Application.