Organizational Structure

Criminal

Intake & Screening
Community Prosecution / Misdemeanors
Domestic Violence
DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
Traffic
Victim / Witness Assistants
Felony
Crimes Against Children
Narcotics
Financial Crimes
Juvenile

Civil

Check Offender Program (COP)

Corporate Counsel
County Code Enforcement
Mental Health
Forfeitures
 
Financial Compliance Unit  
 

Criminal

Intake and Screening

The Intake and Screening Unit is the gateway through which all criminal cases come into the State's Attorney's Office.  Every potential criminal incident is reviewed by the Intake and Screening Unit to determine what charges, if any, should be prosecuted and against whom.

It is at this juncture that the underlying mission of the office "to do justice" is first applied.  It is the goal of the Intake and Screening Unit to make effective and efficient charging decisions that are in the best interests of the community, including the victim and the defendant.

Incidents involving arrests are reviewed early each morning as soon after the arrest as possible.  Other incidents are reviewed daily to determine whether charges should be filed and arrest warrants issued.

Specialists from the Domestic Violence Unit, Driving Under the Influence Unit and other areas generally are involved in reviewing incidents related to their units.

Not all incidents result in criminal charges.  Sometimes, it might be determined, the best interests of the community are served by not prosecuting an otherwise legitimate arrest because the justice had been served by the arrest alone. (Return to Top)

Community Prosecution / Misdemeanor

The goal of the Community Prosecution/Misdemeanor Unit is to interact with residents by developing proactive partnerships with community organizations, government agencies, service providers, schools and religious institutions, in order to address issues of concern, disseminate information and enhance the quality of life through our outreach efforts for all the citizens of Winnebago County in a timely, courteous and professional manner.  We participate in community events and provide speakers to organizations and schools within the community.

Domestic Violence

Stopping the cycle of domestic violence is a major priority of the State's Attorney's Office.  The office does this by diligently prosecuting family violence crimes and helping victims with care and compassion.  The State's Attorney's Office pledges to treat all family violence victims with the dignity and understanding they deserve.  We will file criminal charges whenever there is legally sufficient evidence of a family violence crime and hope that all victims cooperate with our efforts.  However, because our client, the People of the State of Illinois, has an interest in protecting the safety of family violence victims and holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes, the State's Attorney's Office will proceed with family violence prosecutions with or without the victim's cooperation.

Driving Under the Influence

 

Traffic

 

Victim / Witness Assistants

The Victim Assistants of the State's Attorney's Office are available to provide assistance to those persons victimized by defendants through criminal acts.  They will appear in court with the victim, and help them to understand the confusing criminal justice system.  Victim Assistants act as contact resources, to help direct the victims to counseling services, victim's compensation programs, or other aspects of the justice system.  Victim Assistants also regularly meet with victims, inform them of any developments in the case, and act as a liaison between the attorney and the victim.

A Homicide Survivor Support Group meets monthly.  If you are interested or have any questions about this group, please contact Barb Stone at 815-319-4781 or bstone@co.winnebago.il.us

 

Felony

 

Crimes Against Children

Crimes of child sexual abuse are among the most devastating of crimes.  Through their criminal acts, child sexual abuse offenders can inflict severe physical, emotional and psychological trauma on their victims.  The effects can be long-lasting and the healing process can be an arduous one.

The State's Attorney's Office understands this and vigorously seeks justice for victims of child sexual abuse.  There are specially trained attorneys dedicated solely to the prosecution of child sex abuse cases.  This means that one specialized attorney who understands the psychological impact of sexual crimes handles the case from beginning to end. 

Because many sexual assailants are repeat offenders, it is important that victims report sexual abuse to their local police.  By reporting crimes, victims help bring an attacker to justice and prevent further offenses.

 

Narcotics

The prosecutors in the Drug Unit handle felony drug cases.  These cases most commonly include possession and possession with intent to deliver cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and ecstasy.  They work cooperatively with regional drug task forces and prosecute offenders in a vertical manner, from investigation through final determination.

Drug abuse damages all sectors of society.  Drugs destroy individual lives, break families apart, and are very often the motivating factor behind crimes.  To combat the drug problem, the State's Attorney's Office pursues several strategies.  The Office participates in Drug Court, an effective diversion program for drug abusers.  When cases are not appropriate for Drug Court, the State's Attorney's Office effectively prosecutes drug cases. 

 

Financial Crimes

Financial crimes such as identity theft and forgery are an ever increasing concern for individuals in our community.  As such, the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office has assigned a specialized prosecutor to handle these cases.  This prosecutor is trained on how to deal with the unique aspects of financial crimes.

Each year, identity theft - one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation - harms thousands of consumers throughout Winnebago County.  Ultimately, the identity thief aims to obtain personal information about you: your Social Security number, birth name, credit card numbers, or birth date.  With this information, the identity thief can assume your identity and establish bank accounts or credit in your name, leaving you to deal with the fallout.  Identity thieves also can pose as you in the commission of a crime, perhaps leaving you with a false criminal record.

The State's Attorney's Office is committed to protecting the community from identity theft and prosecuting those responsible for this crime.  As with all types of fraud, however, the most effective protection is a consumer's own awareness and vigilance.

 

Juvenile

The juvenile courts are divided into two separate courtrooms, delinquency and abuse, and neglect.  The delinquency courtroom is focused on youth that commit criminal offenses.  The goal is to restore the delinquent minor to an appropriate place in the community with services when possible as well as restoring the victim to as complete a state as before the crime as possible.  The State's Attorney's Office works with the probation department to determine what services are appropriate.

The abuse and neglect courtroom is focused on children that are abused, neglected or dependent.  The goal in abuse and neglect court is to reunify children with their parents when possible with appropriate services and when not possible to find alternative homes for the children.  The State's Attorney's Office works with the Department of Children and Family Services and itcontracting agencies to ensure that necessary services are provided.

 

Therapeutic Intervention Program

The Therapeutic Intervention Program (TIP) or Mental Health Court was developed through the collaboration of the Mental Health Task Force.  TIP was developed to reduce the number of arrests of people with mental illness, increase access to mental health treatment, reduce the number of days of incarceration in the jail for people with mental illness, provide for safe and supervised community alternatives to incarceration, and reduce recidivism.

TIP provides a continuum of care with providing intensive and specialized training to law enforcement, deflecting people into treatment, and reducing the number of arrests.  The TIP Court has established assessment and treatment planning for individuals with mental illness who are arrested and link them to treatment.  The TIP Court attempts to reduce the number of days individuals with mental illness are incarcerated and this reduces the risk within the Winnebago County Jail.

The TIP Court targets individuals with serious mental illness who have committed misdemeanors or low level felonies.  The defendant must have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness and that mental illness must have some causal connection with the commission of the crime.  The defendant must also be willing to cooperate with the court and follow all rules of the program.  Referrals for this program are to be made to Marci Raiber, TIP Coordinator, Winnebago County Courthouse, Suite 345, Rockford, Illinois  61101, 815-319-4805, or fax to 815-319-4801.

The Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office is committed to the establishment of and participation in the Therapeutic Intervention Program.  The State's Attorney's Office collaborates with other members of the Therapeutic Intervention Program team to see that those defendants with serious mental illnesses have the opportunity to receive appropriate treatment and dispositions of their cases.  The State's Attorney's Office keeps in mind the safety and best interests of the community, as well as the best interests of the defendant, when trying to reach a resolution of a case.  The State's Attorney's Office will also retain the discretion to proceed with the prosecution of a case.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Michelle Rock at 815-319-4700 or mrock@co.winnebago.il.us.

 

CIVIL

Corporate Counsel

The Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office is the legal advisor for the County and its elected and appointed officials.  As legal advisor the State's Attorney's Office performs services similar to those of general counsel to a large corporation or municipal attorney.

The State's Attorney's Office is also the county's civil trial attorney.  As such the State's Attorney brings and defends civil actions and appeals in state and federal courts.  Defense in actions range from alleged violations of civil rights, personal injury and zoning disputes.

 

Mental Health Involuntary Commitments

The Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office has an integral role in assuring that persons who need mental health treatment, but are resistant to it, in fact do receive it.  This in one part of the broad responsibility of this office to protect the safety and welfare of the citizenry of this area.  The role of the Winnebago County State's Attorney Office in respect to involuntary admissions to mental health facilities has three main components.  First, we present the evidence and arguments to a judge that justifies issuance of an order for involuntary admission.  Second, we present the evidence and arguments to a judge in opposition to a recipient's (i.e., patient's) motion for discharge from an involuntary commitment when appropriate to do so. And finally, we present the evidence and arguments to a judge in support of a petition for an order that a recipient be involuntarily treated with medications and/or electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) by the provider.

 

Forfeitures

The Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office handles the asset seizure and forfeiture of property in this county.  Property which is used to facilitate the commission of criminal acts or which is the proceeds from criminal activity, is subject to seizure and forfeiture to the seizing law enforcement agencies.  Annually, many thousands of dollars are seized and forfeited from drug traffickers and other criminal enterprises.  In addition to money, numbers motor vehicles, computers and other equipment are forfeited to law enforcement agencies each year.  Portions of these forfeited funds are used to support community preventive education programs, such as DARE or other programs designed to educated adults or children with respect to the dangers associated with the use of drugs.

 

OTHER

Bad Check Restitution Program

Since 1991 the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office has engaged in an aggressive program to combat the problem of bad checks being passed to local merchants.  The original Check Offender Program (COP) was one of the first in the nation to combine education, restitution and prosecution in an effort to discourage the use of bad checks and respond to the thousands of dollars that are lost every year by the merchants of our community.  Those losses affect everyone in terms of higher consumer costs that must be passed on in the form of higher prices for goods and services and increased taxes to cover the cost of investigation and prosecution of the offenders.

In continuing an expanded effort to combat this serious problem, the Bad Check Restitution Program was organized.  As with COP, the primary goal is to maintain a self-supporting program that obtains restitution for the victim while deterring repeat offenders.

As in the past, first-time bad check offenders are given the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by attending a mandatory intervention class.  Under the new program the class is now expanded and continues to be offered without any cost to the taxpayers.  We will continue to place a very high value on the need of the offender to pay full restitution to the victims of crime.

If you are a merchant that receives a bad check take the following steps:

  1. Make personal contact with the check writer.  If you are unsuccessful, send a courtesy notice.  The check writer has 10 days to respond and remit payment.

  2. If you do not hear from the check writer or receive payment, contact the Bad Check Restitution Program at 1-866-324-1537 for a crime report.

  3. Fill out the crime report, keep copies and attach originals of all checks and notification documents, such as return receipts and bank notices, and mail to:  Winnebago County State's Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program, P.O. Box 98, Rockford, Illinois   61105-0098.

  4. If you do not receive restitution within 60 days, contact the Winnebago County State's Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program at the above number.

A check is ELIGIBLE for this program if:

  1. The amount is no more than $5000 (or multiple checks do not exceed this limit).  There are no minimum dollar restrictions.

  2. The check was received in Winnebago County, deposited in a bank in exchange for goods for services and was presumed "good" at the time of acceptance.

  3. A Courtesy Notice was sent to the check writer allowing 10 days to make the check good.

  4. The check is submitted to the program within 90 days from the date of the check.

  5. A photo I.D. (driver's license, state identification card) was recorded at the transaction.

A check is INELIGIBLE if:

  1. It is post-dated.

  2. Both parties knew there were insufficient funds at the time of transaction.

  3. It is a two-party, government, stop payment or payroll check.

  4. The identity of the check writer is unknown.

  5. There is no amount, date, or signature on the check.

  6. The numeric and written amounts on the check do not match.

  7. The check involves an "extension of credit" or was payment on an account.

  8. The check has not been processed by a bank twice with at least 7 days between each processing.

Checks ineligible for the Winnebago County State's Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program may be pursued via Small Claims Court process or by a private collection agency.

If you are a check writer and have any questions about the program, making payments or responding to a letter from the Winnebago County State's Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program, please call 1-866-324-1530.

 

Financial Compliance Unit

The Financial Compliance Unit (FCU) is a department within the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office that deals with financial matters.  The FCU is assigned the responsibility of setting up payment agreements and then monitoring the payment of all court fines, fees, costs, restitution and periodic imprisonment (work release) charges assessed within the Winnebago County Judicial System.

Individuals appearing in court on Animal Violations, Conservation (Hunting, Fishing, etc.) Violations, Criminal Misdemeanors, Criminal Felonies, Curfew, Domestic Violence, Drugs, DUI, Minor Alcohol Use, Minor Tobacco Use, General Ordinance Violations, Restitution Charges, Traffic Cases, Work Release, etc, are ordered to appear in the FCU.  Payment agreements are setup to be approved by the judges and monitored by the FCU.

FCU is located in Room 244 on the second floor of the Winnebago County Courthouse directly across the hallway from courtrooms 214 and 215, the FCU is open on Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  The office telephone number is 815-319-4650.

 

 

 

 


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