V-SAC currently operates in the Criminal Courts of Justice at Parkgate Street, Tallaght District Court, Blanchardstown District Court, Bridewell District Court and the central Dublin district, but the cases it handles originate from all parts of the country. Subject to funding, Victim Support at Court will seek to extend its service throughout the state. It is the only service whose sole function is to provide court accompaniment for all victims of crime, regardless of the type of offence. Counselling services are not provided, but referrals are offered to other appropriate services as and when required.
V-SAC is funded on an annual basis by the Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime and works closely with An Garda Síochána, The Probation Service, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and other related crime victims’ organisations in the justice system. The organisation undergoes an annual audit to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Companies Acts and the Revenue Commissioners. In addition, V-SAC is subject to ongoing audits by our funder, the Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime.
V-SAC is staffed by a full-time paid Manager, a part-time Court Listing/ Volunteer Co-ordinator and a part-time accountant who ensures good financial governance of the organisation. The Manager oversees the general running of the service including the recruitment and training of volunteers to assist victims of crime, their families and witnesses in the court setting both before and during the trial. The Manager reports to the five member Board of Directors.
There are currently 20 active volunteers working with the service and 11 new volunteers undergoing the shadowing process. Subject to funding, V-SAC will continue to recruit and train new volunteers. We hope to expand to be able to provide a service in other major urban centres outside Dublin, but expansion of the service will be dependent on receiving additional funding.
There are five members of the Board of Directors of V-SAC. They are all volunteers who receive no remuneration for their time and who, like our court accompaniment volunteers, receive reimbursement of receipted out-of-pocket expenses only.