Comprehensive Legal Services for Victims of Crime
Published: December, 2017
Illinois victims and victim service providers indicate that legal services are needed post-victimization, and for many victims in the state this need is left unmet. Meeting a victim’s legal needs is key to ensuring their safety and security and enabling them to continue to recover from their victimization experience. Crime victims can directly benefit from access to comprehensive legal services, including legal advocacy, civil legal services and victim rights enforcement. Numerous legal avenues are open tovictims of crime, and legal advocates and attorneys are well-positioned to assist victims as they engage either the criminal justice or civil legal systems. This article explores types of victim legal services, the roles of legal service providers, the needs and potential remedies available to victims by crime type, and barriers to legal service access and delivery. Implications for both providers and funders to ensure comprehensive legal services to victims of crime also are discussed.