Over the past few months, CSI has had the pleasure of working with New Jersey’s Victim Witness Coordinators and their staffs to put the finishing touches on our enhanced Victim Witness (VW) suite. This specialized suite of software and services was designed to aid victim witness units, statewide, with their heavy workload, leaving them to focus more of their attention on other areas of victim support. Throughout this effort, many at CSI have formed a very direct, personal connection to these units and have grown to appreciate the depth of the victim services provided by these hard-working and dedicated teams within each county and at the NJ Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ). So, the development and launch of this product line has special meaning for CSI.
Here is a brief look at some of the features you can expect with the Victim Witness Suite:
● Automated / Customizable Victim Letters – A very time-consuming task for the Victim Witness Units is the amount of letters that need to be generated for victims of cases, based on many courts events and their outcomes. This includes letters for victims in the adult, juvenile, investigations, and domestic violence modules. This feature now automates the letters based on the court events, whether the event is generated by the courts' computer systems or if they are manually entered court case events. “We have been working with each county, customizing their letters along with the triggers that should generate the letters. Once the letters generate and are reviewed, the letters will automatically populate to their cases, saving staff time because the documents do not have to be uploaded to the InfoShare™ case,” explains CSI Account Manager Kim Petty, who was heavily involved in this project.
● Victim Services tab (in eProsecution Module) –This area of the suite helps the coordinators track each of the services they deliver to their clients who are victims of crimes or victim survivors. These services need to be categorized and tracked to properly produce their state and federal reports. This, too, has long been an extremely time consuming task for every coordinator. Now, with a click of a button, the coordinators will be able to produce this report in an effective, timely manner. The report is based on data they entered throughout the year. The Victim Services tab was specifically designed in accordance with state and federal guidelines.
● Stat-Tracker – This feature works in conjunction with the Victim Services Tab to track, compute, and report on the statistics that are required for federal and state reporting. These statistics support grants, financial aid packages and directly fund some of the Victim Support staff for a number of NJ counties.
● The Portal – The portal is one of the hottest new technologies. Victims can register online for the portal with the information provided in their initial contact letter. Once registered to use the portal, victims then can electronically correspond and communicate with the victim witness staff through the portal and all letters and notifications can be received and man-aged electronically. All correspondence is secure and forms, images and documents can be submitted through the portal, making the interaction confidential and streamlined.
Those working on this project agree that it has been a great pleasure working with all of the coordinators and their staff. “They are by far some of the most caring, dedicated, and efficient staff we have worked with!” states Petty.