State’s Attorney’s Office Received Funding for Public Safety and Victim Services in 2023 State Budget

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Lake County State's Attorneys Office


April 13, 2022


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


State’s Attorney’s Office Received Funding for Public Safety and Victim Services in 2023 State Budget


(Lake County, IL) - The Illinois State Legislature has approved the 2023 state budget which included funding for two important new programs for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. The legislature also passed several new laws addressing matters of public safety that the State’s Attorney’s Office advocated for.   

The first allocation of $50,0000 will be used to pilot a 2-year program that automatically texts victims and witnesses about upcoming court dates in Lake County. The second amount of $500,000 will be used for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office’s newly created Gun Violence Prevention Initiative (GVPI) and will be administered through an Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) grant. 

“I am incredibly grateful for the leadership we have among our Lake County delegation in Springfield, and especially to Senator Julie Morrison and Representative Joyce Mason for shepherding our texting pilot program across the finish line and to Representative Rita Mayfield for securing this critical funding for violence prevention for the office’s new GVPI,” said State’s Attorney Rinehart.  

“These programs highlight the broader work done in Springfield this session to further tackle violent crime and provide additional support for victims,” Rinehart continued. “I was also encouraged by the passage of HB 4383, barring the use of ghost guns and SB 2565, further improving on our Drug, Mental Health, and Veterans’ courts. This legislative session has been a success for Lake County and for all of Illinois.” 

The State’s Attorney’s Office continues to work with the Lake County legislative delegation on important legislation, including a cybercrime lab fee bill which is carried by Senator Adriane Johnson and Representative Sam Yingling. 

The texting pilot program will automatically provide accurate and fast information about court dates to any victim or witness who opts into the program. Unlike some systems currently used in the state, this system will be interactive, allowing recipients to ask follow-up questions to the office’s victim witness counselors. State’s Attorney Rinehart was motivated to bring this new innovative program to the office after a similar automatic system was established for defendants through a grant provided by the MacArthur Foundation. 

“It’s pertinent we make the court system as accessible as possible for victims of crime to get justice,” Morrison said. “I worked diligently to secure funding for this pilot program which will make a difference in how Lake County will be able to communicate to victims and their families.” 

The Lake County State’s Attorney’s 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. This automated texting pilot will allow coordinators to focus on individualized support for victims and surviving family members. 

The Lake County State’s Attorney’s office estimated that it supports more than 1,000 victims at a time. While the program would start in Lake County, it would give other prosecutors’ offices a chance build upon the Lake County’s success down the road.    

The Gun Violence Prevention Initiative (GVPI), which received $560,000 in ARPA funds from the Lake County Board earlier in the year, will now be able to provide even more resources for the communities most impacted by gun violence in Lake County. This funding will be used to hire a full-time Director of the GVPI who is tasked with identifying and providing micro-grant funding to capable community-based organizations that will manage teams of violence interrupters in targeted areas around the county. The State’s Attorney’s Office is collaborating with nationally known violence interruption specialists to implement this program. 

“Our communities are suffering from senseless gun violence that disproportionally impacts young men and women of color,” said Representative Mayfield. “This funding to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and additional funding provided to community-based organizations across Lake County will infuse much needed resources into stemming this tide of violence in our most impacted communities.”  

Rinehart added, “As is the case nationally and throughout the state, we’ve seen a rise in gun violence in Lake County over the last several years. Every homicide is a tragedy. A State’s Attorney’s job is to urgently marshal every possible resource to stop the damage from crime, support victims, and prosecute criminals. We have built a violent crime unit to proactively investigate; we have updated antiquated forensic software to use digital evidence against drivers of violence; and, through the GVPI, we are now aggressively addressing the lack of services those most at risk. 

The State’s Attorney’s Office continues to finalize protocols surrounding the GVPI and will be implementing a rigorous vetting process to identify those organizations who will receive funding to hire violence interrupters. The office will also seek additional funding through public and private grants in order to provide more sustainability to the GVPI. 


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