Understanding and Implementing Victim Services Documentation Practices in Law Enforcement Agencies

Understanding and Implementing Victim Services Documentation Practices in Law Enforcement Agencies
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2024-04-18
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Understanding and Implementing Victim Services Documentation Practices in Law Enforcement Agencies
Unit 2Transcript: Understanding and Implementing Victim Services Documentation Practices in Law Enforcement Agencies
Unit 3Workbook: Understanding and Implementing Victim Services Documentation Practices in Law Enforcement Agencies
Unit 4Recording: Understanding and Implementing Victim Services Documentation Practices in Law Enforcement Agencies

This webinar is the third installment in an eight-part webinar series on law enforcement-based victim services. The first session focused on how law enforcement-based victim services can be incorporated into overall agency response and the second part went over roles and responsibilities specific to law enforcement-based victim service personnel. Meanwhile, this third session focuses on privacy, spontaneous disclosure, and documentation considerations.

Leading the conversation are Meg Garvin and Amy Durall. Meg is the Executive Director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) and a Clinical Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School. Meanwhile, Amy is a Fellow with the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) with extensive experience supporting crime victims.

Specifics of their presentation covered:

  • Privacy rights for victims, differentiating between privacy, confidentiality, and privilege, the two major privacy obligations in victim services, and an overview of discovery obligations.
  • Brady obligations: What it is, who are subjected to it, exceptions to confidentiality, and the value of explaining this to victims.
  • How adopting a survivor-centered mindset is central for victim services to uphold privacy and provide the best support to clients.
  • Public records requests: Why it is critical to explain these to victims and train all related agencies, particularly the records department, so they understand victims’ and co-victims’ needs.
  • What spontaneous disclosures are and the three types that typically occur in the victims services field.
    • Recantation, where a statement or belief is withdrawn formally and publicly.
    • New or modified details that emphasize how trauma impacts victims’ memory and ability to recall details of incidents.
    • Spontaneous evidence that may surface much later in reference to an incident.
  • Scenario exercises were provided to get participants to better understand…
    • The importance of providing legally accurate information about Brady obligations.
    • The benefit of engaging survivors so they get to be informed about their rights and options.
    • How law enforcement-based victim services must educate and engage with victims and prompt Brady disclosure obligations in case of recantation, new or modified details, and spontaneous evidence.
  • Victim-services documentation: Its purpose, considerations when it comes to access, location of documentation, what must be captured in documentation, and the importance of supervisor oversight to maintain documentation standards as it relates to accuracy, consistency, ethics, and release of information.

Questions raised by webinar attendees are about:

  • Whether certain victim information falls under Brady obligations.
  • The importance of victims’ rights attorneys in empowering survivors.
  • The impact of lawful subpoenas on confidentiality.
  • Maintaining documentation privacy when victim services personnel work within law enforcement and establishing separation to avoid Brady obligations.
  • The obligations of victim services personnel within law enforcement to document and turn over evidence received from victims.

 

Other Webinars in this Series

 

Click here to view and register for other upcoming related Webinars:

 

 

Resources and Handouts

 

Audience Comments

  • “Great information. I can relate, I’m a Probation Officer. Thank you again for the great webinar.”
  • “Thank you! Love Amy and Meg! Great information and explanations as always!”
  • “Very informative and well done thank you! Looking forward to learning more from your webinars.”
  • “Thank you for an excellent webinar. I look forward to more!
  • “Thank you for some clarity on this often confusing topic.” 🙂
  • “Beneficial information about Brady disclosure. This helped clarify and teach me new things about this. I’ve been in this field for 14 years so I love it when I hear something new or it makes me think about things differently. Great instructors who are very knowledgeable.”
  • “This topic was great at breaking down fundamental issues that arise for victim services.”
  • “The information provided in this webinar was very valuable to our agency.”
  • “Very well done! Lots of good information that was presented in an easy-to-digest format. Loved the polls throughout to keep us engaged and test our knowledge!”

 

 

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