Victim Witnesses

Victim Witness Coordinator

The Lee County State's Attorney's Office is committed to providing victims and witnesses with information and support during their experience with the Criminal Justice System. We do this through the services of the Victim-Witness Coordinator. In order for the Victim-Witness Coordinator to provide services effectively he/she must respond in a timely fashion to victim's needs, have knowledge regarding the Criminal Justice System and the Illinois Victims Bill of Rights and be familiar with local law enforcement and social service agencies. The Lee County State's Attorney directs the responsibilities of this position.

Services Provided:

  • Information - we answer victims and witnesses questions about the Criminal Justice System and their specific cases.
  • Notification - we notify victims by phone or letter when a case has been filed. Victims are also provided with the status of the case as it moves through the system.
  • Restitution - we assist victims in completing restitution forms to compensate for their financial loss as a result of being victimized.
  • Victim Compensation Application - we offer victims assistance and information in completing these forms.
  • Protection - we assist in obtaining Orders of Protections or no contact conditions.
  • Court Advocacy - we support victims if they wish to attend any court proceedings.
  • Secure waiting areas - we provide victims and witnesses a waiting area that is separate from the defendants as they are waiting to testify in criminal proceedings.
  • Provide Emotional Support
  • Social Service Referrals
  • Arrange Transportation
  • Victim Impact Statements - we inform victims of their right to make a statement a sentencing and are offered assistance in completing their statement.
  • Employer/School Intervention
  • Post Trial Information - we notify victims of a defendant's appeal or release from prison or the county jail.
  • Community Education
  • Victim Impact Panel - defendants sentenced for driving under the influence must attend this program. Panelist members consist of individuals whose lives have been altered as a result of a driving while intoxicated.
  • Assist attorneys in preparing victims and witnesses for trial.

What are My Rights as a Victim:

Under Section 8.1 of Article I in the Illinois Constitution, crime victims, shall have the following rights:

  • The right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process.
  • The right to notification of court proceedings.
  • The right to communicate with the prosecution.
  • The right to make a statement to the court at sentencing.
  • The right to information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment and release of the accused.
  • The right to the timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused.
  • The right to be reasonably protected from the accused through the criminal justice process.
  • The right to be present 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.
  • The right to have present at all court proceedings, subject to the rules of evidence, and advocate or other support person of the victim's choice.
  • The right of restitution.

What is Restitution?
The Victim-Witness Coordinator assists in the financial reimbursement of victims who have suffered out-of-pocket expenses resulting from a criminal offense. Restitution will cover out-of-pocket expenses, losses, damages, and injuries suffered by the victims as a result of defendant's actions.

Am I Guaranteed Restitution?
Not all restitution is guaranteed. For instance if a defendant is found not guilty, you will have to pursue restitution through civil litigation.

How Quickly Will I Receive Restitution?
Unfortunately, restitution does not always come when a defendant pleads guilty. There is normally a date given to the defendant by which all payments must be made. In some cases a defendant found guilty may refuse to pay or is unable to comply with restitution. The State's Attorney will attempt enforcement procedures against the defendant. If the defendant is unable to fulfill the restitution other forms of sentencing may be considered and will be done at the discretion of the court.