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Natalee Schroeder
Victim Witness Service Provider
Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office 

While in college, I knew that working in the criminal justice system was something I wanted to pursue. I was just not sure in what aspect. When I was hired for my first job, it was working in a Juvenile Detention Facility in Lake County, Illinois. I worked there for three years and gained knowledge and valuable experience to help me see where my next career move would take me. I left the facility to pursue a master's degree in social work from Aurora University. During my master's program, I interned with a school and a residential treatment program. Then, my decision to pursue a job in the criminal justice system took flight. After completing my master's, I was hired to work for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office at 26th and California. This office has employed me for 15 years, which has led to a plethora of experience. I began my career with the office working in the Complex Homicide and Gang Unit. I was the specialist who worked with surviving family members of gang homicides and media-related cases. I was in that unit for 11 years. I was then rotated into a position of a specialist in the Homicide and Sexual Assault Unit. I was there for 2 years advocating for families and victims. I have been in my current position for 2 years, working in 4 courtrooms within the Felony Trial Division. My current position has led me to work with a large spectrum of cases, many being victims of alcohol-related crashes.  I was thrilled when I encountered amazing AAIM advocates who helped me with added support that my families needed and helped me become a better advocate. 

I still believe that advocacy was something that I would find fulfilling and necessary within the climate of the times. I feel blessed and fortunate to work with amazing victims and their families on this difficult journey and to help navigate them through the criminal justice system.​


We are proud to award Annie with the Diane Mains Award.
Respectfully submitted by AAIM Victim Advocates

Annie Purtell
Victim Witness Specialist
Cook County State's Attorney's Office 
26th & California



Natalee Schroeder has been working with crime victims at the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office since October 2016. She currently holds the position of victim service provider and team lead. She provides services to victims and witnesses in our community, as well as supervising the victim service provider unit. A victim service provider/witness coordinator provides advocacy, resources, information, and support to victims of crime and witnesses.

Natalee offers knowledge and compassion to victims in our community each and every day and is very dedicated to her work. She works with many survivors of domestic violence, gun violence, sexual violence, families of murdered victims, and victims of intoxicated and distracted drivers. She advises victims and families of their rights under the Crime Victims' Rights Act, helps navigate them through the criminal justice process, attends court proceedings, coordinates support, and makes referrals to services to help with the healing process.

Prior to accepting her position in the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office, Natalee provided direct services as a residential coordinator and legal advocate at Rockford's local domestic violence organization, Remedies Renewing Lives. She has been providing advocacy to survivors in our community for the last 9 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Rasmussen College in 2015.


We are proud to award Natalee with the Diane Mains Award.
Respectfully submitted by AAIM Victim Advocates

​​​​​​​​​THE IMPACT ON LIVES:

The Faces of Tragedy

The Diane Mains Award For
OUTSTANDING VICTIM WITNESS ASSISTANCE


AAIM developed an award in memory of Diane Mains to be presented to a State's Attorney Victim Witness Assistance Representative for outstanding dedication to the needs of impaired driving crash victims and their families.


​The 2022 Award was presented to: 

Outstanding
Victim Assistance

The Diane Mains Award For Outstanding 
​Victim Witness Assistance


















AAIM developed an award in memory of Diane Mains to be presented to a State’s Attorney’s Victim Witness Assistance Representative for outstanding dedication to the needs of impaired driving crash victims and their families. Diane Mains, an AAIM victim advocate, died unexpectedly after heart surgery in August 2006. The recipient of this award will be determined each year by AAIM victim advocates. 

Diane’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Caitlin, was killed by a drunk driver a week before her high school graduation in 2003. Diane turned her horrific sorrow into action by volunteering for AAIM and speaking at Victim Impact Panels to court DUI offenders. These panels are one way that crash victims and their families work to educate arrested drunk drivers about the impact of drinking and driving tragedies. Diane also spoke to high school students throughout the area as part of AAIM’s pre-prom prevention programs. Ultimately, Diane became a part-time victim advocate for AAIM in 2005 and was instrumental in developing a working relationship with the McHenry and Lake County State’s Attorneys.

 In all of her efforts, Diane championed the cause of justice for the victims of impaired driving crashes. In honor and memory of Diane, AAIM is pleased to present the Diane Mains Award to acknowledge outstanding courtroom work assisting the victims of these crimes.


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