I am frustrated. We have been calling the lady who said that she would be our courtroom advocate and first it took her three days to call us back. Then she said that since we will be going to court in a different town (still la county) that she would arrange a court room escort. When my husband asked her about an advocate she said she would have to get back to him because she didn't know about that. Now, is an escort the same thing as an advocate? Does the advocate come from the Crime Victim's Assistance People? The filing DA and the detective said they will try to keep us notified but we would like an advocate and have requested one. I don't have much faith in this lady because it doesn't seem like she knows what she is doing. This is Los Angeles. There has to be an advocacy program here and it bothers me that when we asked point blank, "When/If we get to trial will you be our advocate?" her reply was yes. She told us to just let her know when there was an arrest and then she would keep up on any court proceedings. I do not want to miss anything he is at. If he walks in the room to turn around and leave again, I want to be there. I will be very upset if we miss because we are not notified. I am just very confused and want a straight answer. I do not think this lady knows what she is doing. :( Any ideas from those of you who have already been here?
The prosecuting attorney assigned me an advocate and She calls me all the time and tells me everything.We talk so much, It's like I have been knowing her for a long time but I met her after these guys were charged with my son's murder, she has even expressed anger when these guys came into the courtroom, so has the prosecuting attorney.If you get a good advocate, she is gonna walk you through this,my advocate allows me to cry, vent,yell, express my anger in whatever fashion I feel at that time, she told me that's what she is there for,she just tells me to let it go, sometimes we are on the phone over an hour.She is really sweet,I pray that you get an advocate who is truly tailor made for your situation.Amen
Our's is similar as we live in a different town than where the murder took place. We have an advocate in the town where it happened and my counselor in the town we live in. The advocate does need to be from where the crime took place and where the trial is going to be as they will be the best to have access to all the info. It is my understanding that your advocate goes to court with you and works with you throughout the case. I am not sure how it works in other cities but Pittsburgh is a good size city. Our advocate is great but the first couple people we talked to in his office could not compare. Ours was even crying when he was talking about Lisa and how non-chalant the killer about all of it. He told me my job is to take care of you and your family. I worry about you and will be there for you through out the entire process. When there are things you might not be able to see or hear I will tell you ahead of time. But I will always be there for you. Only one time he did not call back the same day we called. One day we were told he was in court all day which we knew was true as it was a Friday but he ended up calling us from the court house. I am getting off topic and not trying to make anyone feel bad because our advocate is good but the others need to step up because what our advocate is doing is what they all should do. They are being paid to do a job and while some can/are more compassionate than the others they should at least do this one thing: Take care of the victims family as it is one of the only rights we have left. Kim I would ask them who is going to work with you on a daily basis if need be, someone you can call for questions, updates, etc. and not just an escort in the courtroom. If they provide no answers that satisfy you then ask the DA about it. Our DA told us that he would talk to us anytime but don't hestitate to use our advocate when we have questions. So perhaps your DA could help or you could call him day and night and then say well if I had an advocate that could help I wouldn't have to bother you as that is what they are for anyway....To take care of the family and be a liason between the DA and the family. That is my understanding anyway. Take care and know we are always thinking of you and here for you whenever you need us. Love and hugs. Laura
I don't understand much about this advocate thing either. I have had to call them on those occassions when my son's case was postponed, and they'd call me like 2 days after the postponement and say oh it's not the 10th it's the 19th now and here they are calling me on the 12th??? Yes I alreday knew it was postponed as the detective called me and told me! I never even spoke to the DA yet, no one has called me! Are they supposed to call me and tell me what's going to happen or do I just wait until the preliminary which is not until December? i have no clue! And with all the crap I hear on the street as these guys are from the area, I'm just sick of it, I'd like to know more but then I don't! I don't even know if the other guy's family is going to be there. I never ever hear from them.
I don't know who the DA will be who will try the case. The filing DA is very nice and helpful. Once we have a DA assigned we are supposed to sit down and talk with him. Right now I do all of the calling myself. My husband called the courthouse that he is supposed to be taken to once he has been extradited back here. I think we will ask him about the advocate. I was just irritated that when we asked this lady she told us it would be her and now she isn't even sure there is a program? In Los Angeles? It's tough because you want to trust that there is someone on your side and sometimes you start to wonder. Thanks for all the info though. It points me in a direction to make sure that we get some help.
I was looking on the POMC site and it has a section on the side for Survivor support which addresses the Advocacy Issues. It is not clear and states that it varies from state to state but also gives you an option to contact them for more information. Perhaps they might be able to pinpoint directly in your area the office that should be available to you. I am not sure but it might be worth a try. They seem to be the biggest group when it comes to support for murdered children. I hope this will help. Love and hugs to all. Laura
I saw that on POMC too. I already emailed them.I knew we thought a lot alike. :)
Victim Whitess Program
1663 Butler Ave
Los Angeles Ca 90025
Hope this helps
Don't know if this is what you need but you can give it a try if you haven't already. I think I got the right place.
Allegheny County Victims of Violent Crime
Jim's Mom Shirley
I am not sure what the laws in Cal are but if it's so busy that you can't get information from an advocate try POMC they do have volunteer advocates that can help you get the information you need and they will go with you to court.
I have become an advocate for a women's shelter here in Arkansas and my job is to help the victime keep up with everything going on with the courts and to inform her of her rights. Sometimes I have to do a lot of digging, a lot of phone calling and it does take time but I do make sure if I can't get the information promptly, I let her know. It is so frustrating to be waiting for a call that doesn't come in. I was one of the lucky ones. I had an angel for an advocate and she made me feel like someone cared about me and the death of my son, so I have tried to model myself after her and I try and put myself into each woman I work with shoes.
So if you are getting nowhere, call POMC, they may be able to make a few calls for you. They know what questions to ask and they seem to have more pull than most of us.I know they have trained people that will answer all the questions you have and in language we understand.
Good luck ladies. They don't mean to be rude and insenceitive but they are overworked, uninformed and underpayed.