State's Attorney testifies before State House Committee on Pilot Text Notification System for Victims

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Lake County State's Attorneys Office


March 17, 2022


For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Spagnolo
(224) 374-2376


State's Attorney testifies before House Committee on Pilot Text Notification System for Victims


(Lake County, IL) - State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart testified before the House Appropriations-General Services Committee on Wednesday night, via zoom, for a subject matter hearing. State’s Attorney Rinehart was there to explain the need for his proposed pilot program to automatically text victims and witnesses about upcoming court dates in Lake County. State Representative Joyce Mason (D-Gurnee) introduced the measure in the House and is shepherding it through the legislative process in Springfield.  

The bill would appropriate $50,000 from the General Revenue Fund to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office for the 2-year pilot program. 

Victims and surviving family members deserve the same notice of court dates that perpetrators receive. This pilot program will ensure that those who have been victimized are aware of upcoming hearings so they can be involved in the process,” Representative Mason said. I am happy to be partnering with Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart to stand up for crime victims and look forward to seeing this program take effect.” 

I am so grateful that we have strong victim advocates, like Representative Mason, among our Lake County delegation in Springfield who are pushing to ensure our victims receive all the support they need,” said State’s Attorney Rinehart.  

The Lake County States Attorneys office employs 12 full-time victim witness coordinators who guide and support victims through the court process. The coordinators work to connect the survivors of crimes with services while also educating them about how their case will proceed through court. Part of the coordinators’ duties include updating victims and witnesses on changes in court dates.  

Our office is here to support every victim in every way we can. This is an important program that will use reliable, fast technology to assist victims and survivors who choose to participate,” Rinehart said. “This system allows our amazing support professionals to spend their time providing individualized support instead of leaving voice messages. Unlike other court notification systems that are powered by (some) clerk offices, this opt-in system will allow our support specialists an interface to respond to additional questions that a victim may have. Also, the automated information will be available in any language. 

The Lake County States Attorneys office estimated that it supports more than 1,000 victims at a time. While the program spearheaded by Mason would start in Lake County, it would give other prosecutors’ offices a chance to learn and build upon the Lake County program down the road.   

House Bill 4613 awaits a vote in the Appropriations-General Services Committee 



Lake County State's Attorney's Office
18 N. County Street
Waukegan, IL 60085  
Phone: (847) 377-3000