Reporting to the Victim Witness Supervisor, the Victim Witness Specialist provides services and assistance to victims and witnesses of crime in accordance with Article I, Section 9m of the Wisconsin State Constitution and Chapter 950 of the Wisconsin Statutes to ensure that all victims and witnesses are treated with dignity, respect, courtesy, sensitivity, and fairness. Works as a liaison and advocate between crime victims and the criminal justice system. Maintains records and prepares reports and forms as appropriate. Performs complex and varied administrative tasks and related work.
Outagamie County received special funding for this position. Therefore the position will end in 3 years.
The following duties are most critical for this position. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive. Other duties may be required and assigned.
Review assigned case files to establish and implement the appropriate course of action in adult and juvenile cases, which includes determining who a victim is per constitution and state statutes.
Initiate and maintain contact with victims to inform them of case status. Orient victims to their rights and protections, criminal justice procedures, and community and governmental resources available to them. Assess the victim’s emotional, physical, safety, and financial needs and make referrals to appropriate community agencies as needed. Provide advocacy and liaison services.
Act as a personalized liaison between victims and witnesses and various aspects of the criminal justice system and community agencies/resources in order to resolve problems that arise as a result of the crime itself or as a result of their involvement in the court system. Respond to requests from victims of crime for support, information, and for any necessary intervention in cases.
Receive and respond to inquiries (phone, email and in person) from victims, other service providers, attorneys, law enforcement, and the general public.
Ability to recognize language barriers with victims and witnesses and to coordinate the use of interpreters (hired or volunteers in the community) to assist with communication, either by phone, in meetings, or in a court setting.
Create and maintain notations in the PROTECT case management system concerning the rights victims wish to exercise.
Maintain the witness line daily to notify witnesses of required attendance or cancelation of hearings.
Escort victims and witnesses to court and provide reassurance, support, and information as it applies to their case.
Review criminal files to determine the amount of possible restitution and seek solutions to problems regarding restitution. Follow through with the appropriate course of action, including drafting and filing restitution summaries, motions, orders, and civil judgments with the court and appropriate agencies.
Assists victims with the completion of Crime Victim Compensation Applications. Monitors process of claim and communicates with the program specialist and victim to ensure any potential payments. Drafts and files with the court any restitution requests on behalf of the Crime Victim Compensation Program.
Assist victims in preparing and submitting Victim Impact statements to the court and appropriate agencies.
Prepare dispositions on criminal and juvenile cases and submit as appropriate to victims and witnesses including, but not limited to, materials related to probation and prison notification, parole notification, sex offender registration, restitution, and appeals.
Contact police agencies regarding witness protection.
Anticipate and resolve problems to insure witness' appearance in court and reassuring and persuading reluctant witnesses when necessary.
Arrange transportation, as needed, for witnesses that are required to attend court.
Facilitate the return of victim’s property when no longer needed as evidence or prior to the conclusion of the case.
Assist victims and witnesses with filling out witness payment vouchers.
Contact Probation and Parole, police departments, and other agencies regarding court orders.
Assist prosecutors during court proceedings.
Assist victims/witnesses in preparation for testimony by meeting with them and the attorney prior to court as well as attending court when they testify.
Create and maintain a calendar of appointments, court hearings, meetings and other related events.
Schedule and attend any confer appointments between the prosecutor and victim. Document confer notes in the PROTECT database.
Enforce confidentiality requirements and other regulations as outlined in Chapters 48 and 950 of the Wisconsin State Statutes.
Provide assistance with trainings and technical assistance to criminal justice partners, local advocacy groups, community organizations and others as requested.
Participate in special projects as assigned by District Attorney or Victim Witness Supervisor.
Attend trainings, meetings or other conferences/seminars as directed by the District Attorney or Victim Witness Supervisor.
Work with District Attorney and Victim Witness Supervisor to oversee daily activities of Victim Witness interns and volunteers.
Actively participate in any assigned committees or task forces.
Maintain regular and predictable attendance, work overtime/extra hours as required.
Obtain and maintain certification of State Victim Witness Credentialing through the Wisconsin Victim Witness Professional Association.
Perform other duties as assigned.
High school graduate or G.E.D. with a bachelor degree with a major in social work, criminal justice, or other closely related human services field. Three to four years working experience in a social service or criminal justice position. Or any combination of education and experience that provides equivalent knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Required or Preferred Skills
Knowledge of and demonstrated ability to conform to goals, policies, and procedures of the Department as well as the Outagamie County Work Rules and Terms of Employment.
Working knowledge of the criminal justice system.
Knowledge of and sensitivity to the issues of victimization, including but not limited to trauma, domestic violence, and sensitive crimes.
Establish and maintain effective and professional relationships with victims and witnesses.
Listen and respond constructively to other team members. Treat co-workers, administrative personnel and the public with respect and professionalism.
Maintain professionalism when a victim, witness, or the public has a complaint or problem.
Promptly notify his/her manager about any problems that affect the ability to accomplish planned goals/work assigned.
Ability to work independently, make sound decisions, and use good judgment to ensure that work is prioritized so that it is effectively carried out in the time frame allotted, and ensuring effective use of all resources.
Ability to manage large caseloads in a fast-paced environment.
Ability to maintain accurate and complete records, and prepare clear and comprehensive reports.
Knowledge of and ability to use computer software and applications utilized by the department.
Ability to maintain composure and effectively use tact and diplomacy with co-workers, the public, government agencies, etc.
Ability to maintain a high level of discretion and confidentiality, and to respect the confidentiality of information or concerns shared by others.
Ability to effectively communicate in English, verbally and in writing.
Ability to understand and follow written and oral instructions.
Ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and figure mathematical calculations.
Ability to lift, carry, push, pull; or otherwise move objects up to 25 pounds, understanding and utilizing proper body mechanics.
OUTAGAMIE COUNTY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER. IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, THE COUNTY WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS TO QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES AND ENCOURAGES BOTH PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEES AND INCUMBENTS TO DISCUSS POTENTIAL ACCOMMODATIONS WITH THE EMPLOYER.