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Promising Victim-Related Practices in Probation & Parole

Is your agency struggling with how to improve programs and services for crime victims? Do officers on your staff feel uncomfortable communicating with victims of crime? Do you want to increase victims’ participation in the community corrections process in your jurisdiction, but aren’t sure how to do it?

The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) offers a 2-day training event on Promising Victim-Related Strategies in Probation and Parole. This training will provide instruction to front-line probation and parole officers and first-line supervisors on such topics as: the impact of crime on victims; the role of community corrections in providing victim services; effectively communicating with crime victims; incorporating victim input into the community supervision process; providing effective victim notification; and enhancing restitution collection and management.

Training Goal

The purpose of this training program is to build capacity and enhance victim services in community corrections settings by training probation, parole and other community justice professionals on how they can be more effective in their response to and provision of services to crime victims.

Learning Objectives

By the conclusion of this training course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the impacts and implications of crime on its victims.
  • Identify the specific rights of victims, and describe the role of community corrections staff in implementing victims’ rights.
  • Demonstrate skills for communicating effectively with crime victims.
  • Identify 4-5 approaches for obtaining victim impact statements, and 3-4 appropriate types of information to request through victim impact statements.
  • List 4-5 points in the community corrections process that officers should provide notification to crime victims.
  • Demonstrate 2-3 strategies for increasing restitution collection among supervisees.

This training was developed through support from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).

About the Presenters

Julie Begoña began her career with the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1981 as a Spanish Court Interpreter. After working several years there, she joined the staff of the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department (MCAPD). Ms. Begoña has served in a variety of roles for MCAPD, including as a probation officer and supervisor. In 1997, Ms. Begona began the development and supervision of the Financial Compliance Unit, and in that capacity she developed the policy for the enforcement of court-ordered financial sanctions, established a peer education program to aid officers and staff in the enforcement of court-ordered financial sanctions, and defined a continuum of progressive interventions to address chronic non-compliance. Ms. Begoña also aided in the development of a Budget Class for offenders. In 2001, Following her retirement from MCAPD, she has worked with the Council of State Governments on the Financial Obligations in the Prisoner Reentry Project; she also has served on the Arizona Commission on Victims in the Courts (COVIC), as a consultant regarding the Enforcement of Court Ordered Financial Sanctions, and for the Pretrial Services Project in the State of Chiahuahua in Mexico.

Aurelia Sands Belle has more than twenty years of professional experience in human service delivery and advocacy. She has extensive experience in the management of non-profit organizations and programmatic implementation strategies. Most notably, Aurelia is the former director of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) for the Metropolitan Atlanta Crime Commission in conjunction with the City of Atlanta. Mrs. Belle initiated responsibility for developing all services to victims and witnesses of crime during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Most recently, Aurelia became a founding Director in Justice Solutions, Inc. of Washington, DC. Justice Solutions is a non-profit agency committed to addressing issues related to criminal and social justice issues by working with professionals all across the country, providing technical assistance and intervention. She has served as a faculty member for the National Victim Academy since 1997 sponsored by the U. S. Department of Justice Office of Victims of Crime in cooperation with the Victims’ Assistance Legal Organization (VALOR). Aurelia’s work as a facilitator has taken her into cities all across the country such as New Orleans, Louisiana; Orlando, Florida; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; Waterloo, Iowa; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Ms. Sands Belle current serves as the Executive Director of the Durham Crisis Response Center.

Anne Seymour is a Co-founder and Senior Advisor of the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Justice Solutions, specializing in criminal and juvenile justice, crime victims' rights and services, and community safety. She has over 30 years of experience, first as the Director of Public Affairs for the National Office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and, from 1985 to 1993, as co-founder and Director of Communications of the National Victim Center (now National Center for Victims of Crime). Her extensive research includes co-authoring the landmark study Rape in America: A Report to the Nation in 1992. She has authored or contributed to over 30 manuals and texts published by the Office for Victims of Crime since 1989, including “The Victim Role in Offender Reentry” and “Creating a Victim Focus: A Guide to Working with Victims During Offender Reentry,” and she has developed and implemented training and technical assistance programs to strengthen victims' rights and services in law enforcement, prosecution, the judiciary, juvenile justice, and community and institutional corrections. Ms. Seymour was the recipient of the 2012 Joe Kegan’s Award for Victim Services in Probation and Parole, awarded by the American Probation and Parole Association.

Jill Weston served as a line staff, manager, trainer, facilitator and victim advocate for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for over 28 years, prior to her retirement in 2012. Ms. Weston has provided direct services to victims/survivors and worked closely with community victim advocates, criminal justice personnel and community organizations. She pioneered many victim focused offender accountability and Restorative Justice programs at a local and national level. Ms. Weston served as a National Victims Assistance Academy faculty staff from 1999-2005. She serves on numerous local and national committees related to victim and offender casework issues. In 2001 she was awarded the California Youth Authority Medal of Valor-Distinguished Service in recognition for her work with in the victims’ services field. Ms. Weston obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice through California State University, Sacramento. She is a graduate of the National Victims Assistance Academy and a graduate of the Advanced Institute on Victims Studies through Washburn University and California State University, Fresno.