MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas today announced the creation of the NCDA’s Victim Services Unit.
The unit is designed to offer crime victims services and emotional support throughout their involvement in the criminal justice system. The NCDA has always recognized that crime victims, their families, and witnesses to crimes need support and information at every stage of a criminal proceeding.
Earlier this year, the NCDA submitted a grant proposal to the New York State Office of Victim Services and was awarded $3.25 million to hire 25 new Crime Victim Advocates and six Legal Interpreters over three years.
Before the newly grant-funded unit, Assistant District Attorneys were tasked with providing these services in conjunction with just three victim advocates.
“The safety and well-being of crime victims has always been a top priority for my office, and this grant will allow us to expand our dedicated Victim Services Unit by more than 800%,” DA Singas said. “Our well-trained and multi-lingual staff will be prepared to ensure that victims receive the support and services they need as our prosecutors work to seek justice on their behalf.”
Some of their responsibilities include:
- Provide information to victims and witnesses about the status of a case, including an offender’s custody or release.
- Ensure victims and witnesses receive copies of any court orders of protection that have been issued on their behalf.
- Offer emotional support and assist with safety planning and crisis intervention.
- Provide referrals to agencies for services such as counseling, mental health treatment, and emergency food, shelter, or clothing assistance.
- Assist victims in filing claims for compensation through the NYS Office of Victims Services.
All services offered by VSU are free of charge and will be available in multiple languages.