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advocacy group
of evanston

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Defense-Victim outreach

Sage partners with

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evanston victim outreach

A firm of defense-victim outreach specialists.

EVO's role is to offer a safe and respectful avenue for family members and survivors to communicate with defense teams, should they choose to do so. The family members and survivors guide the evolution of these discussions. Some want to express their concerns, beliefs, frustrations, and anger directly to the defense team. Others have questions that can only be answered by the defense attorneys or the defendant. Still others have specific questions about what to expect from the legal process, including the trial and later appeals. There are many other possibilities, and EVO's goal is to learn about each person's needs and concerns and to discern ways that the defense team might be able to offer information, assistance, and greater understanding throughout the legal proceedings. 

Defense-victim outreach does not duplicate the work of the victim advocate in prosecutors' offices. Rather, it expands the options available to survivors and family members by providing access to both legal parties in the criminal justice system. Some families and survivors have said that they find it uniquely helpful to have a means of communication or a relationship with both the defense and the prosecution through their respective liaisons. 

The aim of EVO's work is not to provide a particular outcome for the defense team. Unlike other members of the defense team who have a fundamental duty to provide zealous representation to their clients, EVO does not serve as an advocate for the defendant in court or otherwise. The defense team should provide us only publicly available information or information that the defense team deems appropriate to provide families and survivors. We may keep confidences if there is information that families or survivors share with us but don't wish to share with the defense team. Our only responsibility is to serve as the liaison between the defense and families and survivors. EVO is available to learn what is important to family members and survivors, and work to find opportunities to better address the needs and concerns that stem from the harm caused by the crime.

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