Critical Language Access Needs of Victims
Serving crime victims from linguistically diverse communities requires preparation and use of strategies embedded at all layers of the justice process. Framed around the seven critical needs of victims (safety, support, information, access, continuity, voice, justice), this webinar provides law enforcement and allied professionals an overview of legal obligations and standards around language access, tips for working with interpreters, and promising practices for police agencies. By addressing language access needs, agencies can eliminate or reduce barriers and support victims’ participation in the criminal justice system, thereby enhancing investigations, prosecution of crimes, and public safety.
Target Audience: Law enforcement and allied professionals (e.g., victim services personnel, communications personnel, crime scene personnel)
Overall Objectives: At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will be better able to: 1. Identify and give examples of the seven critical needs of victims. 2. Understand the language access compliance requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 3. Implement language access strategies in the justice system. 4. Identify points of contact in law enforcement agencies and system- and community-based victim service organizations.
Project Funding Provided By: Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)
This presentation was developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) under Cooperative Agreement 2018-V3-GX-K066 and the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (API-GBV) under Cooperative Agreement 2018-V3-GX-K061, both awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this presentation are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Boise, Idaho, Police Department
Detective Shelli Sonnenberg graduated cum laude from the University of Idaho in 1998, with a degree in Crime and Justice Studies. Shelli began her law enforcement career with the Boise Police Department in 1999, at which time she was honored to be voted President of her POST Academy. She spent the first 4 years of her career working in patrol, 9 years on the Community Policing Team, as a Neighborhood Contact Officer and then the Refugee Liaison. The last 9 years she has been assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, as a Detective. She is also a Crisis Negotiator and a member of the Honor Guard. In 2006, Detective Sonnenberg was chosen BPD Officer of the Year by her peers, something she considers a highlight in her career. Some of her most rewarding work came when she was the Refugee Liaison. Shelli worked closely with the refugee resettlement agencies and community outreach groups in the Boise area, providing educational and safety information to the New Americans when they arrive in the U.S. In turn, she created a Refugee Awareness curriculum to assist her fellow officers in the field and then created the Boise PD Interpreter/Translator Program, which is used to help officers and LEP persons communicate in a more efficient manner. This program is also used by the other agencies in the Treasure Valley when a language barrier exists. In 2009, Boise PD was honored by the Vera Institute of Justice as one of the top cities in the US who were “Bridging the Language Divide.
Senior Program Manager
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
Cannon Han is a Senior Program Manager with API-GBV. He has over ten years of experience providing technical assistance and training to programs on: Title VI compliance and advocacy; language access; interpretation; and translation. Prior to re-joining API, he was the Title VI Administrator for Caltrain and the San Mateo Transit District. He also served as a Senior Court Services Analyst with the California Administrative Office of the Courts, Court Interpreter Program, and an attorney with the Mental Health Advocacy Project.
Project Manager, IACP
Heather Dooley is currently a Project Manager for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and her portfolio includes primary management of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims (ELERV) initiative and co-management of the OVC Law Enforcement-Based Victim Services (LEV) Program. Her responsibilities include oversight of demonstration sites teams and grantees, training content and resource development, and delivery of training and technical assistance on victim-centered, trauma-informed practices in law enforcement agencies. Ms. Dooley also served as an Advisory Board Member for the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Measuring Success in the Criminal Justice System’s Response to Domestic/Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Assault, and Stalking: A Pilot Project. Before joining the IACP, Ms. Dooley served as the Social Services Program Coordinator for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office Victim Services Unit in Austin, TX, where she managed volunteer and internship programs, provided direct services to victims of crime and crisis circumstances, and provided training for Unit personnel and sworn personnel. Ms. Dooley has participated in a variety of community-wide collaborative efforts, including initiatives focused on enhancing sexual assault response, promoting a trauma-informed approach to intimate partner violence, and improving outcomes for children and families in the child welfare system. Ms. Dooley has a Master of Social Work degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.