Victim Services: Tips for Working with Victims

DJJ Working with Victims

TIPS FOR TALKING WITH VICTIMS DO's:

  • Take time to listen and let victims tell their story.

  • Be courteous and patient.

  • Use clear, understandable language.

  • Give information on the juvenile justice system, how it works, and what they can expect.

  • Observe victim confidentiality.

  • Offer assistance and resources for crime compensation, counseling and advocacy.

  • Tell victims that you are sorry for what happened to them.

  • Explain how restitution is handled in the juvenile system in your circuit.

  • Ask victims about the offense and its impact on them and their families and friends (Listen for statements about the emotional, physical and financial impact of the crime).

  • Ask what they would like to see happen to the offender.

  • Ask if they have recommendations for community service placement, such as favorite charities or recommendations for other conditions of supervision.

  • Ask if they want to be kept updated about the status of their case and the offender and, if they do, keep them updated.

  • Ask if there are any safety or security concerns. For example: Are they threatened, harassed or intimidated by the offender?

  • Accept the victim's point of view and let them vent.

 


TIPS FOR TALKING WITH VICTIMS DONT's

  • Don't tell victims you "know how they feel."

  • Don't use departmental or other jargon.  Don't use acronyms.

  • Don't minimize the offense.

  • Don't become defensive or argumentative.

  • Don't tell victims how many cases you have or how busy you are (their case is the only case for them).

  • Don't pass victims on to someone else.

  • Don't tell victims your story of victimization or try to top their story.

  • Don't make promises you can't keep.  For example: "I'll get you restitution."

  • Don't cut victims off or tell them how they should feel.

  • Don't disregard their safety or security concerns.


For more information or to request a training, please contact the Office of Victim Services via email here or call toll-free at 1-866-922-6360.