Tips for Working with Victims


  • Take time to listen and let victims tell their story.
  • Be courteous and patient.
  • Use clear, understandable language.
  • Give information on the Juvenile Justice System, how it works, and what they can expect.
  • Observe victim confidentiality.
  • Officer assistance and resources for crime compensation, counseling, and advocacy.
  • Tell victims that you are sorry for what happened to them.
  • Explain how restitution is handled in the Juvenile System in your circuit.
  • Ask victims abou the offense and its impact on them and their families and friends (Listen for statements about the emotional, physical, and financial impact of the crime).
  • Ask what they would like to see happen to the offender.
  • Ask if they have recommendations for community service placement, such as favorite charities or recommendations for other conditions of supervision.
  • Ask if they want to be kept updated abou the status of their case and the offender and, if they do, keep them updated.
  • Ask if there are any safety or security concerns (For example: Are they threatened, harassed, or intimidated by the offender?).
  • Accept the victim's point of view and let them vent.



  • Don't let victims you "know how they feel".
  • Don't use departmental or other jargon (Don't use acronyms).
  • Don't minimize the offense.
  • Don't become defensive or argumentative.
  • Don't tell victims how many cases you have or how busy you are (their case is the only case for them).
  • Don't pass victims on to someone else.
  • Don't tell victims your story of victimization or try to top their story.
  • Don't make promises you can't keep (For example: "I'll get you restitution").
  • Don't cut victims off or tell them how they should feel.
  • Don't disregard their safety or security concerns.

For more information or to request a training, please contact the Office of Victim Services via email here or call toll-free at 1-866-922-6360.