Victims and survivors of crimes, accidents and other tragedies will meet at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 19, at the Hagerstown Seventh-day Adventist Church on Robinwood Drive for the annual vigil for Victims' Rights Week, April 19-25.
Jill Ritter will be there to offer her sympathy and compassion, a shoulder and a tissue if needed. But in her role as the victim/witness coordinator with the Washington County state's attorney's office, Ritter has a lot more to offer these days.
"Since October 1997, victim services have greatly improved," Ritter said.
When a crime is a felony and involves a victim, Ritter sends a crime victim notification form out within 10 days of the indictment or of charges being filed.
The victim can then give Ritter notice to keep them informed every step of the way through the legal system.
If the form is returned to sender, Ritter begins a search for the victim. If that is unsuccessful, Ritter must notify the Clerk of the Washington County Circuit Court.