Victims of crime are often left with emotional scars that can last a lifetime. Victim advocates work to help heal those scars and help victims make sense of the criminal justice system. In order for the Victim Advocate Unit to fully meet the needs of all victims of crime within Alachua County, we depend on volunteers and interns from the community. Volunteers/Interns provide victims with emotional support, case status updates, community resource information and referrals, accompaniment to court proceedings, and assistance in filing for Crime Victim Compensation. Crime does not discriminate, and anyone- young or old, rich or poor- can become a victim. Please consider volunteering your time to fill this important need. The person you help could be someone like you.
The Victim Advocate Unit oversees the volunteer program. Volunteers can be anyone over the age of 18 who completes a volunteer application and background check through the Human Resources Bureau at the Alachua County Sheriff's Office. The background check takes at least 4 weeks to complete, so if you are considering volunteering, please keep this in mind. The Victim Advocate Unit provides a volunteer friendly atmosphere, with flexibility in scheduling times and/or providing special accommodations when necessary.
The Victim Advocate Unit utilizes interns from the University of Florida and Santa Fe Community College. Interns are designated hours to complete by their sponsoring professor for the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. The internship program is unpaid. The application process and background check takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks to complete, so start early to have paperwork completed before the semester begins.
For applications or questions concerning the Victim Advocate Unit's Volunteer/Internship Program, please call (352) 384-3317.