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The program is set up in accordance with Guidelines written by the Victim Assistance Policy Committee. This committee established the operating standards for Solicitor-based Victim-Witness Assistance Programs to implement the Victimís Bill of Rights which was passed by the Legislature in 1978. The Victim Rights Constitutional Amendment and Implementing Legislation was passed by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1997 and 1998. We are required by law to attempt to notify victims, should they wish to be, of all proceedings in a case.
Rights of Victims and Witnesses
What is the Role of a Victim Advocate?When a crime occurs, the "people of the State" represented by the Solicitor or one of his assistants, prosecute the case. The Victim-Witness Advocate aids crime victims by offering many services that are confidential and free of charge.
Advocates inform victims of their rights. They act as liaison between the victim and other agencies. They attend court hearings with victims or attend on their behalf. They inform victims of hearing dates, case updates, and dispositions. They arrange pretrial conferences upon a Solicitorís request and attend them. They attend hearings when requested by the victim or their family.
During the time it takes to prepare a case for court, the victim advocate keeps victims informed about the case and provides help that includes:
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Special ProgramsKids To Court
School groups of 25 or less may come and observe the court process. Students are briefed on court procedures. The students will observe actual court cases - either a trial or guilty pleas. Seating is limited so advance notice is required.
Solicitorís Office Anti-Drug Poster Calendar Contest
After an awards ceremony the winning posters are displayed in the Greenville County Courthouse through the month of November. A calendar is then printed and distributed before Christmas to middle school students, teachers and staff at every middle school in Greenville and Pickens counties.
The entire project is funded with money made from the sale of forfeited items taken from individuals arrested for drug offences.
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