• Full Time
  • Waukegan, IL
  • This position has been filled

Lake County

Lake County

Job Title: SAFE-T Act Senior Victim Specialist
Department: State’s Attorney’s Office
Reports To: Division Chief
Salary: $64,000/year

Performs work of considerable difficulty in providing guidance on the criminal justice system and direct service referrals to victims involved in the criminal justice system. Specifically, performs these duties at the inception of a criminal case in order to comply with the victim notification requirements under the Pre Trial Fairness Act (hereafter SAFE-T Act). Advises and makes policy decisions to ensure full compliance with the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act (725 ILCS 120), the SAFE-T Act (720 ILCS 5/110) and the procedures and mandates of the State’s Attorney’s Office. Regularly exercises discretion, independent judgment and professional skill in assessing, and then serving, the needs of victims by responding effectively to the emotional, physical and financial aftermath of victimization. Understands the commonalities across the victim categories and uses that understanding to assess problems and provide citizens with a linking network to other community agencies. Represents the State’s Attorney in daily interactions with victims, members of the public and community agencies and serves as a confidential employee. Provides victim services training to staff and community agencies. (Presentations will comply with Section 38 of the Interagency Agreement.) Maintains close contact with the assistant state’s attorneys and the investigators handling the underlying criminal case. Reports to the Division Chief.

Essential Functions
The primary function of the Specialist is to serve as the contact point for the victim throughout the criminal justice process and to deliver a wide variety of services including the following:
• Follows and implements the procedures described in the SAFE-T Act with respect to victim notification requirements (720 ILCS 5/110).
• Follows and implements the procedures described in the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act (725 ILCS 120).
• Prepares and maintains a record of contacts with victims and assesses individual situations in meetings with attorneys in the Criminal and Civil Divisions.
• Contacts victims of felony cases (and misdemeanor domestic battery cases) on the same day, or within 24 hours, of when criminal charges are approved.
• Explains the victim’s rights under the SAFE-T Act with respect to First Appearance Court and Detention Hearings.
• Counsels the victim on the criminal process, explaining why his/her appearance will be required and what the victim should expect in court. Increases the victim’s knowledge of the criminal justice process, thus decreasing the anxiety that the experiences during court appearances.
• Keeps the victim informed of changes in court dates, procedures, reasons for postponements and delays. • Assesses the service needs of the victim and makes the appropriate social service referrals to existing community agencies, and educates the victim about the existing community agencies which provide a variety of specialized social services.
• Assists victims in sensitive cases in order to minimize the re-traumatization effect of court appearances and assists the child victim in her/her special needs prior to and during the court proceedings.
• Informs the assistant state’s attorneys as to the victim’ availability and alerts them to the especially disgruntled and acts as an advocate for the legitimately aggrieved witness who may be too timid or inarticulate to complain.
• Assists in the preparation of the victim impact statement, where appropriate.
• Insures the adequate delivery of services through follow-up procedures.
• Assists in the expeditious return of any stolen or other personal property held by law enforcement authorities for evidentiary or other purposes.
• Provides orientation and referral to the Victim Compensation Program.
• Gains skills in the use of relevant social systems in the County to enhance victim functioning.
• Understands the advocacy role and uses the advocacy role when appropriate.
• Provides victim services training for staff and community agencies.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
• Advanced knowledge of community resources and social agencies.
• Advanced knowledge of the criminal justice system and court procedures.
• Advanced knowledge of the victim notification requirements under the SAFE-T Act.
• Advanced knowledge of The Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act (725 ILCS 120).
• Advanced understanding of social and economic problems. Advanced knowledge of the techniques of effective interviewing, counseling, crisis intervention and case management.
• Advanced knowledge of suicide assessment and emergency response.
• Knowledge in a field of victim services specialization including but not limited to: domestic violence, sexual abuse, elder abuse, juvenile delinquency, juvenile neglect, special populations, emergency response, crisis intervention, suicide assessment, grief process.
• Ability to react quickly and calmly in emergencies.
• Ability to analyze problems and develop effective solutions.
• Ability to handle difficult situations firmly, courteously, tactfully and impartially.
• Ability to secure the cooperation of others in difficult situations.
• Ability to interview effectively and evaluate information obtained.
• Ability to speak and write clearly and concisely.
• Ability to follow oral and written instructions and write correspondence.
• Ability to communicate effectively with residents, co-workers and the public both verbally and in writing.
• Ability to communicate with people of various socioeconomic and racial backgrounds.
• Ability to work successfully with minors and adults under trying circumstances.
• Ability to establish effective working relationships with co-workers, court officials and community agencies.
• Ability to attend to details, and exercise sound judgment.
• Ability to observe situations analytically and objectively and to record them clearly and completely.
• Ability to provide victims services training for staff and community agencies.
• Ability to maintain confidential material.
• While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to use a computer. Good knowledge of PC operations and software (word processing, spreadsheet, database, Internet) as needed to perform duties is required.

To perform the job successfully, an individual must demonstrate the following competencies.
• Analytical – Synthesizes complex or diverse information; collects and researches data; uses intuition and experience to complement data; designs work flows and procedures.
• Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; gathers and analyzes information skillfully; develops alternative solutions.
• Oral Communication – Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; listens and gets clarification; responds well to questions; participates in meetings.
• Written Communication – Writes clearly and informatively; edits work for spelling and grammar; varies writing style to meet needs; presents numerical data effectively; able to read and interpret written information.
• Change Management – Develops workable implementation plans; communicates changes effectively.
• Quality Management – Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
• Organizational Support – Follows policies and procedures; completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; supports organization’s goals and values.
• Strategic Thinking – Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; adapts strategy to changing conditions.
• Judgment – Displays willingness to make decisions; exhibits sound and accurate judgment; supports and explains reasoning for decisions; includes appropriate people in decision-making process; makes timely decisions.
• Planning/Organizing – Prioritizes and plans work activities; uses time efficiently.
• Professionalism – Approaches others in a tactful manner; reacts well under pressure; treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; accepts responsibility for own actions; follows through on commitments.
• Quantity – Meets productivity standards; completes work in timely manner; strives to increase productivity; works quickly.
• Safety and Security – Observes safety and security procedures; uses equipment and materials properly.
• Adaptability – Adapts to changes in the work environment; manages competing demands; changes approach or method to best fit the situation; able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
• Attendance/Punctuality – Is consistently at work and on time.
• Dependability – Follows instructions, responds to management direction; takes responsibility for own actions; keeps commitments.
• Initiative – Seeks increased responsibilities; takes independent action.

Education and/or Other Requirements
• Completion of a bachelor’s degree in counseling, criminal justice or a related field.
• Previous experience as a counselor, social worker, criminal justice or a related field; or completion of a master’s degree in counseling, criminal justice or related field with internship or work experience.
• Training or education in a victim services specialization.
• Ability to work evenings and weekends when necessary.

Physiological Factors
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
• While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; talk and hear.
• Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

Psychological Factors
The psychological demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
• Ability to effectively and professionally handle and respond to verbally abusive individuals or disparaging conduct.
• Ability to maintain pleasant working relationships.
• Ability to operate under continuous pressure.
• Ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.

Reasonable accommodations may be made in order to perform the essential functions. This job description describes a general category of jobs. In order to meet the needs of the Lake County State’s Attorneys Office, employees may be assigned other duties, in addition to or in lieu of those described above, and any duties are subject to change at any time.

Lake County offers a competitive salary and benefit package. We also offer flexible working hours, and a comprehensive wellness and training program.  Visit our Prospective Employee page to get additional information on why you should work for Lake County!

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background screening, drug and alcohol testing and may include a pre-employment medical exam.

Lake County is committed to being a diverse and inclusive workplace and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer (EOE).