Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Melissa Merz
877-844-5461 (TTY)
June 5, 2006



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

The following participants are scheduled to attend this year’s Illinois Victim Assistance Academy:

Adams County   Champaign County
Laura Hessling   Randy Davis
Christine Pfeiffer   Rantoul Police Department
Adams County Probation Office    
Cook County   Douglas County
Carey Jane Atherton   Abbie Harriss
Palatine Police Department   Douglas County State's Attorney's Office
Yvonne Afriyie   DuPage County
Office of the Attorney General   Maryam Gilani
    Hamdard Center for Health & Human Services
Richard Beatty   Exzavier Lawson
Oak Forest Police Department   DuPage County State's Attorney's Office
Twyla Blakely   Henry County
Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists   Brenda Kopp
    Henry County State's Attorney's Office
Lisa Boyd   Kane County
Crisis Center for South Suburbia   Michelle Curry
    Marie Ferro
    Mutual Ground, Inc.
Amanda Bruscino   Kelly Pashock
Rogers Park Community Council   Community Crisis Center
Marine Chaurize   Lake County
Elmwood Park Police Department   Kathleen Smith
    Mundelein Police Department
Julia Davis   LaSalle County
ISTEP Displaced Homemakers Program   Kelly Champlin
    LaSalle County Children's Advocacy Center
Bonita Ghess   Logan County
Circuit Court of Cook County-Juvenile Probation   Lisa Bobb
Dawn Gorman-Kenny   Macoupin County
Orland Park Police Department   Andrea Cottrell
    Macoupin County State's Attorney's Office
Sylvia McCullum    
Circuit Court of Cook County-Children's Advocacy   McHenry County
    Sonya Bass
Monica Pachicano   Marengo Police
Chicago Children's Advocacy Center    
    Lynn Coit
Kristen Sterba   McHenry County State's Attorney's Office
Children's Advocacy Center of SW Cook County    
    Diane Mains
Sandy Ziesak   Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists
Palatine Police Department    
    Sara Signor
McLean County   Child Advocacy Center of McHenry County
Jodi Ellsworth    
McLean County State's Attorney's Office   Montgomery County
    Julia Spinner
Kathleen Patterson   Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office
McLean County Children's Advocacy Center    
    Saline County
Cari Sherman   Mona Nelson
McLean County YWCA-Stepping Stones   Saline County State's Attorney's Office
Susan Thomas   Sangamon County
Children's Advocacy Center of Bloomington   Chuck Eguez
    Prisoner Review Board
Peoria County    
Beth Bernard   Katherine Seketa-Stefancic
Peoria County Sheriff's Office   IL Department on Aging-Office of Elder Rights
Melissa Slama   Vermilion County
Center for Prevention of Abuse   Beth Morrison
    Catholic Charities
St. Clair County    
Penny Eplin   Wabash County
Violence Prevention Center   Phyllis Blair
    Wabash County State's Attorney's Office
Carol Kueker    
Violence Prevention Center of SW Illinois   Whiteside County
    Allan Johnson
Rachel Sadler   Whiteside County State's Attorney's Office
St. Clair County Child Advocacy Center    
    Williamson County
White County   Kelly Stroh
Julie Lucas   Williamson County CAC
White County State's Attorney's Office    
    Winnebago County
Will County   Dorsey Thompson
Thomas Bahar   Rockford Police Department
Will County State's Attorney's Office    
Melissa Brown    
Village of Bolingbrook    
Aurena Davis    
New Lenox Police Department    
Barbara Ficarello    
Will County Child Advocacy Center    


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