For Immediate Release
MADIGAN: VICTIM ASSISTANCE ACADEMY BUILDS ON SUCCESS OF STATEWIDE TRAINING FOR CRIME VICTIM SERVICE PROVIDERS
MORE THAN 50 REGISTERED FOR SECOND ACADEMY TRAINING IN NORMAL, IL
Chicago ─ Following up on last year’s successful training, Attorney General Lisa Madigan will host crime victim advocates, criminal justice professionals and social service providers this week at the second Illinois Victim Assistance Academy (IVAA) on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal.
More than 50 people are registered to participate in the intensive, week-long training designed to improve the quality and consistency of victim services across Illinois. All sessions will be held June 5-9 at the University’s Bone Student Center. The IVAA is co-hosted by Illinois State University and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
“The IVAA Steering Committee and faculty have created an outstanding agenda of educational sessions,” Madigan said. “Based on feedback from last year’s participants, this year’s IVAA will feature more hands-on activities and presentations that will focus on developing practical skills in working with victims of crime to provide them with a high caliber of services.”
Madigan said Illinois is now joined by 17 other states in establishing and institutionalizing state academies to provide crucial training. Since 1995, academies such as Illinois’ have been funded by the federal Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).
By week’s end, Madigan expects that 55 “graduates” of the second IVAA will find their prior experience as a crime victim service workers enriched by training sessions that will focus on, among other topics, homicide issues, methamphetamine and drug endangered children issues, workplace violence and strategies to better educate the public on the issues faced by crime victims and the services available to them.
“It was gratifying to see newspapers from Freeport to Centralia report on experiences gained by professionals from their area who attended last year’s first IVAA,” Madigan said.
Madigan has made providing assistance and information to crime victims a top priority, and has overseen the implementation of several new programs designed to improve the services available to crime victims in Illinois.
In October 2005, Madigan appointed the first Statewide Coordinator for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) to organize training programs across the state. Earlier this year, more than 100 Registered Nurses and other health care professionals joined members of law enforcement and rape victim advocates for a 40-hour Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) training during three sessions held in northern, central and southern Illinois. The training is the first step in becoming a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, specially trained to care for sexual assault patients in the emergency room and collect evidence to hold sex offenders accountable for their crimes.
In addition, Madigan’s Crime Victim Compensation Bureau has greatly decreased the amount of time it takes to investigate and process a crime victim’s application for Crime Victim Compensation from an average of 270 days in 2002 to less than 90 days now. These improvements translate into victims being better able to pay bills related to the crime without having to deal with creditors.
Service providers and crime victims can find more information about Madigan’s Crime Victims Services Division online at www.IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov/victims/index.html.
The following participants are scheduled to attend this year’s Illinois Victim Assistance Academy: