A core aspect of the RISE Project is NCVLI subgranting to six direct service providers to provide legal representation to assist victims in asserting and seeking enforcement of their rights in criminal cases, and, as necessary during and in support of such representation, provide those victims representation on collateral civil legal matters arising from the victimization. Following a competitive selection process, six were selected.
Founded in 1996, Arizona Voice for Crime Victims (AVCV) was the first organization of its kind in the county, offering hope to crime victims in the form of no cost legal representation and social services solely for the purpose of asserting and enforcing their rights in state, federal and tribal courts. AVCV’s approach to delivering direct legal and social services to victims of crime in Arizona is holistic in nature. While AVCV represents all types of crime victims, under the RISE Project AVCV represents child-victims in the care of the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) to ensure they have an opportunity for meaningful participation throughout the criminal justice process.
Since 2006, the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) has existed to end sexual exploitation in this community, and since 2009, CAASE has done its work by providing free and comprehensive legal services for survivors of sexual violation—including by representing those victimized within the context of the criminal justice system. The other pillars of CAASE’s work—Policy, Prevention, and Community Engagement—have a decade’s history working to improve policy, practice, and culture (both at the state and local level) so that various systems, including specifically the criminal justice system, improve the ways they understand, engage with, and respond to victims of rape and prostitution. Under the RISE Project CAASE provides legal representation to victims of sexual violence in Cook County while simultaneously enhancing critical community organizing to improve the public and criminal justice/legal landscape in Chicago for survivors of sexual violation as well as select participation in appellate practice for significant cases arising throughout Illinois.
Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) began serving victims of crime under Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding from the Florida Attorney General’s Office on June 2018, although trauma-informed services have been provided since it opened its doors in 1974. LAS serves survivors of all non-intimate partner crimes such as, adult or child sexual assault, bullying, identity theft, fraud, human trafficking, child victims of abuse, abandonment, or neglect, survivors of mass violence. Under the RISE Project, LAS, with project partner Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida, will provide victims of crimes in Broward County, Florida, with access to legal representation to assert and seek enforcement of their rights in criminal cases and collateral civil legal matters arising from the victimization.
The Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCEDSV) has been on the forefront of demanding dignity for victims for more than forty years by applying a smart, bold standard to all prospective litigation to create new precedent for Michigan victims. Under the RISE Project MCEDSV will use extensive appellate knowledge to combat decisions that do not bolster victim rights. Under the RISE Project MCEDSV’s Survivor Law Clinic will accept referrals from its 73-member organizations and other community partners anywhere in the State of Michigan, including state, tribal, and federal courts.
The Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC) is a nonprofit organization providing comprehensive case management and no cost legal services to all victims of crime in the District of Columbia. NVRDC’s holistic services are provided regardless of income, ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation, race, or gender identity/expression. NVRDC runs the District’s on-call crisis response services to survivors of sexual assault who receive a sexual assault forensic exam in the District of Columbia. NVRDC offers victims professional case management services combined with experienced crime victims’ rights attorneys. The legal staff also represent sexual assault survivors within the context of college or university administrative proceedings and Title IX enforcement and complaints. Under the RISE Project NVRDC provides no cost rights enforcement legal services to all crime victims in the District of Columbia with a focus on surviving family members of homicide, victims of hate crimes, and survivors of gender-based violence.
The Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center (OCVJC) provides no cost legal assistance to victims of crime to protect and enforce their rights from the time of first report through post release control in state and federal court. In addition OCVJC provides victims’ rights training to nurses, advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, courts, counselors, and community organizations, and resource referrals throughout Ohio. Under the RISE Project, OCVJC, with project partner Legal Aid of Western Ohio, will substantially increase the number of attorneys providing no cost victims’ rights enforcement services to victims of crime in Ohio, with a focus on the underserved 32 county western region of the state.
This Project is supported by Grant No. 2018-V3-GX-K018, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Project are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.