About the Victim Services Unit
The Victim Services Unit provides an array of services to felony crime victims and their families and informs victims of their rights as guaranteed under the Rhode Island Constitution and the Victim's Bill of Rights.
Advocates are assigned to victims and their families to provide guidance and support through the criminal justice process - informing them of their rights, notifying them of the status of the offender’s case, providing personal assistance at court appearances and helping them better understand and participate in the legal process. In addition, the Unit provides referrals to other victim-service provider agencies and support groups that can further assist victims with financial, legal, medical and emotional problems resulting from the crime. Unit advocates also assist prosecutors with all victim-related matters.
In performing these services, the staff works closely with highly traumatized victims and families in homicide, driving death, child molestation, sexual assault, human trafficking and domestic violence cases as well as other felony cases – answering questions, overcoming fears, explaining court procedures, notifying victims of the status of the offender’s case, sharing concerns, addressing safety issues, assessing overall needs and accompanying victims to court proceedings.
Advocates are assigned to assist victims and their families through the various stages of the criminal justice process – bail hearing, pre-arraignment/arraignment, violation hearing, grand jury, pretrial, trial, appellate and post-conviction process. The Unit also collaborates with other agencies - RI Department of Probation and Parole, RI Parole Board, Superior Court Restitution Unit and RI Department of Corrections Office of Victim Services - in an effort to provide a seamless transition for victims at the conclusion of the Superior Court process.