Victim Services

Victim Services office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.  The Victim Services office is available to help victims of certain types of crimes and help guide them through the criminal justice process.  If a victim needs assistance, please contact the office at (843) 915-6915.

Each Victim Advocate is a certified Victim Service Provider (VSP).  The South Carolina Governor's Office requires that all Victim Advocates in the State of South Carolina receive 12 hours of training annually, to keep their certification.   Their training encompasses changes in legislation, criminal domestic violence, sexual abuse, assaults, homicides, kidnapping, human trafficking, and all other crimes and issues related to victims.

MISSION STATEMENT
The Victim Services Office at J. Reuben Long Detention Center has the responsibility and intent to implement and comply with the rights guaranteed to victims of crime in accordance with the Constitution of the State by providing services particularly as stated in the Code of Laws of South Carolina, Sections 16-3-1525 and 16-3-1530.  This office seeks to ensure individual rights are protected and that each victim of a crime is not re-victimized by the judicial system.  Furthermore, to treat victims  with dignity, respect, courtesy, and sensitivity; render support to a network of services, offer accessibility to those resources, and guide them through the judicial process. 

South Carolina Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN)
SAVIN is an automated service provided to victims of crime.  SAVIN communicates with J. Reuben Long Detention Center's booking system in near real-time.  The service transmits updated information to a data network that calls or sends e-mails to victims when an offender is being released from custody.  When SAVIN calls the victim via its automated service, the automated voice will ask for a pin number to confirm the notification.   If a victim does not have a pin number, they must contact a Victim Advocate to receive their pin number.   A victim must have access to a phone or a computer to receive this service.  Click on SAVIN to navigate to their website to register to be notified of an offender's release from J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Important Information for Victims to Know:

It is the responsibility of the victim to notify Victim Services of any address or telephone number changes. This ensures notification to the victim of any hearings or the release of a defendant in a timely manner.  Please call the office or send an e-mail to the Victim Services Coordinator to update victim information.

It is the responsibility of Victim Services to schedule all bond hearings and guilty pleas at the Detention Center.  Please contact Victim Services for the scheduled times.  Please note:  It is not the responsibility of the arresting police officer to schedule hearings. Please make certain the hearing is scheduled prior to arrival. 

According to the South Carolina statute, victims have the right to be present at all criminal court hearings, trials, and other proceedings concerning cases in which they are involved.  If a victim wants to be present for any hearing or proceeding in their case, they must inform the police officer or a victim advocate.  Please note:  It is not mandatory for a victim to attend a bond hearing.  If a victim is unable to attend a hearing for any reason, the victim advocate will appear in court and speak on their behalf.  

The South Carolina statute, code section 16-3-1550(A), mandates that employers must allow victims time off from work to attend all criminal court hearings, trials and other proceedings regarding their case.  An employer cannot retaliate against, suspend, or reduce the wages and benefits of a victim.  If an employer does not allow a victim time off from work to attend a criminal court hearing, please notify Victim Services so the victim advocate can intervene on behalf of the victim.

A victim cannot dismiss or drop charges against a defendant at a bond hearing.  If a victim wants to dismiss or drop charges against a defendant, the procedure for doing this is processed through the Solicitor's Office.  Please contact their office at (843) 915-5460 to inquire about the proper procedure.  Please note:  Although a victim may want to dismiss or drop charges against a defendant, it is the sole authority of the Solicitor's Office to make that decision. 

State Office of Victim Assistance (SOVA) is a department of the South Carolina Governor's Office.  SOVA provides compensation to eligible victims of crime.  There are certain medical and funeral benefits that victims may be eligible to receive.  Victim Services at the Detention Center will help victims complete the application process.  Please call our office at (843) 915-6915 for any questions concerning the application process and/or to schedule an appointment to receive help completing the application.  The SOVA application may be completed online by the victim.  Click on SOVA to navigate to their website to complete the online application  and print it.  Contact Victim Services to schedule an appointment with a Victim Advocate to review the application and to get copies of legal documents that SOVA requires.

The South Carolina Governor's Office has a crime victims' ombudsman.  The mission of the Office of the Crime Victims' Ombudsman is to be an impartial third party who attempts to ensure that all crime victims are served justly, equitably, and fairly by South Carolina's criminal justice organizations.  If a victim has questions or concerns about their rights, please contact their office or click on their hyperlink under Quick Links.

Contact:


Deni Gibbs
Victim Services Coordinator
(843) 915-6915
E-mail:  Gibbsd@HorryCounty.org