In 1985, the State of Michigan enacted the Crime Victim's Rights Act. The Act provides the duty that Prosecutors must notify crime victim's of their specific rights under the law. Under the law, they are to provide a description of the criminal justice system and Crime Victims Compensation information. They tell a victim what to do if they are threatened and provide a contact person in the Prosecutor's Office.
In complying with the Crime Victim's Rights Act, Grand Traverse County has established the Crime Victims Assistance Program.
Our Victim's Coordinator provides advocacy throughout the criminal justice process on behalf of the crime victim. They provide services to victims of crime with special needs, such as senior citizens, and victims of domestic violence, and sexual assault. These services include an explanation of the criminal justice system and various court proceedings, providing emotional support and crisis intervention, accompanying victims to court, providing case status information and consulting with assistant prosecuting attorneys.
Upon request, services can include:
- Accompanying a victim to court
- Courtroom orientation and information on how the court works
- Crime victim compensation information
- Employer intervention
- Help with the return of personal property
- Informing the community about victim's rights
- Privacy prior to appearing in court
- Referrals for counseling, support groups and emergency services (food, shelter and clothing)
- Restitution information and assistance
- Status information on your case
- Victim impact statements
Denise Schmuckal is the crime victim rights coordinator. She can be contacted via email or by calling 231-922-4607.
Niki Dunwiddie is the domestic violence victim's assistance advocate. She can be contacted via email or by calling 231-922-4611.