SHERIFF SCOTT FRANKLIN ANNOUNCES VICTIM ADVOCATE PROGRAM
The role of the victim advocate is to support victims of crime. Being the victim of a crime is a very painful, stressful and frightening experience. The Advocate offers emotional support as well as:
- Support, resources and referrals
- Information on crime victim rights
- Collaboration with other agencies involved with victims’ cases
- Guidance through the criminal justice system
Services Offered by the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Victim Advocate:
- Information on victimization and prevention of abuse
- Information on a victim’s legal rights, protections and guidance through the criminal justice process
- Direction to access medical and/or mental health services
- Assistance with applications such as the Louisiana Automated Victim Notification System (LAVNS) and Crime Victims Reparations
- Assistance with locating safe shelter
- Referrals for other services for victims, such as counseling and other support services available within our community
- Notifying victims of court dates and accompanying the victim to the court proceedings
- Emotional support to victims and safety planning
Types of crimes addressed by the Advocate include domestic abuse, identity theft, assault, vehicular assault or homicide, robbery, hate crimes, vulnerable adult abuse, property crimes, DUI/DWI injuries, homicide, hit and run, burglary, human trafficking and child abuse/neglect.
How Advocates Work with Victims
Every crime has a victim, but not every victim has a voice within the criminal justice system. Victims often need someone to help them identify and assert their rights, and navigate the criminal justice system process, which is unfamiliar to them. The advocate provides support and may refer the victim to counseling services. The advocate will also assist in locating services to help ease the impact of victimization. They may speak or act on a victim’s behalf; serve as a liaison between the court system and victim; and help minimize the physical, psychological, emotional and financial impact to the victim.
The LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate can offer information about the options available to victims and will also support the decisions made by the victim. Although victims have the right to confidentially and privacy, laws of mandatory reporting are equally important. These laws mandate that workers in certain professions, such as victim advocacy, must make reports if they have reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect of a vulnerable person.
Communications may be private and not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Such information may, however; be disclosed (except
information, records and other confidential information concerning pending law enforcement investigation or pending prosecution) if the Victim Advocate determines that disclosure is:
Necessary to enable the Victim Advocate to perform her responsibilities.
Information that places a vulnerable person in danger.
It is the mission of the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate Program to help victims prevail over the trauma of victimization by assisting and advocating for safety, healing, justice and restitution. It is also our goal to empower the victim to gain strength and security after victimization.
Please feel free to call your Victim Advocate, Clare Wilson at 992-2067 for additional information or if you need assistance.
Useful Phone Numbers:
Victim Advocate: 318-992-2067
LaSalle Parish Sheriff: 992-2151
Jena Police Department: 992-5111
Domestic Abuse Crisis Hotline: 1-888-411-1333
Child Advocacy Center:
Rapides Children’s Advocacy Center at 318-448-4006
Family Counseling Agency: 318-447-0919
Wellspring Safe House at 318-807-6200
Faith House 24-hour crisis line: 1-888-411-1333
www.fca4cenla.com Family Counseling Agency
www.aardvarc.org An Abuse, Rape & Domestic Violence Aid & Resource Collection
www.lcadv.org Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
www.lcle.la.gov Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement: Victim Notification Registration
www.wellspringalliance.org Supportive Services and Housing
Soon to Come: Information on domestic abuse.