Ada County Juvenile Court Services stands firmly committed to responding to the needs of juvenile crime victims in ways that address the harms they experience. The mission of Victim Services is to proactively respond to victims in a manner that is restorative and meaningful. Victim Services provides victims the opportunity to participate in the community’s response to crime by becoming and remaining informed, providing input, and, where appropriate and safe, being actively involved in the justice process. The options for participation are discussed with victims through contact with a Victim Advocate, which allows victims to make informed choices about how their needs can be most effectively addressed.
Choices offered to victims:
- Restitution – Victims who have suffered a financial loss due to their victimization can submit a claim to Victim Services. Restitution is ordered by a the juvenile court judge to be paid to the victim by the offender. This process is facilitated by Victim Services.
Click here for more information on Restitution Services.
- Advocacy – Throughout the court process, an advocate can answer any questions victims have concerning the court process or the status of a case. If victims wish to attend court hearings, an advocate will escort that victim to court and answer any questions about the hearing.
Frequently Asked Questions about Victim Services
I am the victim of a juvenile offender. Who can I talk to about my case and options?
Within one week of receiving a police report, a Victim Advocate from our department will contact victims named in the report, usually via letter. Our Advocates acknowledge the harm done to victims, give them an opportunity to state how they have been impacted by the crimes, and ask what they would like to see done to hold the juvenile offender accountable.
What are the rights of a victim of misdemeanor crime?
In the state of Idaho, a victim of misdemeanor crime has limited rights. However, Victim Advocates can greatly assist victims throughout the court process by presenting opportunities for victims to be heard, notifying them about case progress, and communicating their interests to the court.
What are the rights of a victim of felony crime?
There are many rights for victims of felony crime. Click here for more information.
What information may a victim know about the juvenile offender?
Victim Advocates may not be able to share much information about juvenile offenders unless given specific permission by the juvenile or their parent/legal guardian. Information is usually limited to the juvenile’s name, dates and outcomes of related court hearings, and the results of any conditions issued by the court. Requests for additional information should be directed to the judge or police department that filed the report.
What hearings may a victim attend?
Any and all hearings.
What is restitution?
Restitution is a sum of money paid in compensation for loss or injury. Victims who have suffered a financial loss due to their victimization can submit a claim to the Victim Impact Program. Restitution can be arranged through diversion, mediation, or the formal court process once the juvenile has admitted guilt or been found guilty of their crime. However, it may take months for restitution to be ordered if there are competency hearings, multiple prosecutable offenses, multiple victims, or unsubstantiated claims.
Defendants ordered to pay restitution usually do so in monthly increments. Payments are made directly to Juvenile Court, where they enter the court’s trust fund for disbursement to victims. Unfortunately, there may be cases where restitution is not ordered. In these cases, victims may choose to retain a private attorney and pursue restitution in civil court.
What is a Victim Impact Statement?
A Victim Impact Statement (VIS) is written statement that allows a victim to express what happened, how it affected them, and what they would like done to be restored. A VIS informs our Victim Advocates of other services that the victim would like to receive, such as notification of hearings, mediation, or a Letter of Apology from the juvenile. It also tells the Judge and Prosecuting Attorney what consequences the victim would like issued for the juvenile offender. A VIS is the best way for a victim to initiate active involvement the court process.
Are counseling resources available for a victim of juvenile crime?
Victim Advocates have a list of counseling services that can be obtained outside of ACJCS. This list is available upon request and includes community resources that accept fees based on a sliding pay scale.
For more information on Victim Services, please contact:
Restitution & Victim Advocate