Q. When can I provide my victim impact statement to the Court?
A. The victim gives a statement to a Victims Information Officer by phone or in person. This statement is presented before the Magistrate or Judge during the offender's hearing. The Magistrate or Judge makes a decision based on all factors involved in the case.
Q. Do I have to be present in Court to make my statement?
A. A victim is not required to make a statement in person. In most cases, a Victims Information Officer contacts the victim and takes his or her statement by phone. If a victim feels more comfortable making the statement in person, arrangements can be made to accommodate the victim.
Q. What precautions can I take to keep the offender away from me?
A. A victim who feels in danger of retaliation from an offender can request a stay away order as part of the victim's impact statement. A stay away order is Court-ordered by the Judge or Magistrate. It specifies how long the offender is required to stay away from the victim. If the victim chooses to attend the Court hearing, the victim can ask the Judge or Magistrate for a stay away order.
Q. When will I receive restitution for my losses resulting from the crime?
A. Restitution is a disposition imposed by the Court that requires the offender to pay for any loss, damage or injury not covered by insurance.
1. The victim should outline all losses to the Victim Information Officer to include on the statement.
2. The victim will be notified to submit proof of damages by the Restitution Coordinator. The victim should either mail or deliver the paper receipts or estimates directly to the Restitution Coordinator.
3. The victim will receive restitution after the Court's final hearings, as money is collected from the juvenile.
Q. If the offender is committed to the Department of Youth Services, can I be informed of his or her release?
A. Victims of crime are encourages to participate in Ohio's VINE service. VINE (Victims' Information and Notification Everyday) is a free, anonymous, computer-based service that provides victims of crime important information and notification. VINE notifies the victim about the offender's status while the offender is incarcerated in ODYS. When the offender is released, victims are notified automatically. To receive information on the VINE program, please call 614-644-6416.
Q. What types of counseling programs do you offer?
A. The Hamilton County Juvenile Victims Unit offers a variety of information to victims of crime. However, the Victims Unit does not provide counseling. The Victims Unit offers brochures and pamphlets on crimes such as sexual abuse, and on general mental health, substance abuse and grief counseling.