Every U.S. Attorney's Office has a Victim/Witness Assistance Program to assist victims of federal crimes. The Victim/Witness Assistance Programs are a part of federal efforts to provide information on rights and services to victims and witnesses of federal crimes, as well as to encourage the participation of victims in the criminal justice system to the extent that they wish, in accordance with federal law.
To Contact our office:
Victim/Witness Assistance Information
United States Attorney's Office
Victim Witness Division (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250
Philadelphia, PA 19106
The Victim Witness Assistance Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office provides services for victims and witnesses of federal crimes. Our staff provide case status information, education regarding the federal criminal justice system, court accompaniment, crisis intervention, referrals to various social service organizations in the county, state and other federal agencies.
It is our goal to ensure that crime victims and witnesses are afforded their rights and treated fairly during the prosecution process.
Federal crime victims* have the following rights, as set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3771:
(1) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
(2) The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
(3) The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
(4) The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
(5) The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
(6) The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
(7) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
(8) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.
We will make our best efforts to ensure you are accorded the rights described.
You can seek the advice of an attorney with respect to these rights, Section 3771(c)(2).
If you are a federal crime victim and believe that an employee of the United States Attorney's Office failed to provide you with one or more of these rights, you may file an administrative complaint, as provided under 28 CFR § 41.10. Please contact the Victim Witness Coordinator in the United States Attorney’s Office to obtain information about these procedures or the internet site for the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman at http://www.justice.gov/usao/resources/crime-victims-rights-ombudsman for further guidance and copies of the requisite forms.
* According to the act, a victim is “a person directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of a Federal offense or an offense in the District of Columbia. In the case of a crime victim who is under 18 years of age, incompetent, incapacitated, or deceased, the legal guardians of the crime victim or representatives of the crime victim’s estate, family members, or any other persons appointed suitable by the court, may assume the crime victim’s right under this chapter, but in no event shall the defendant be named as such guardian or representative.”
If you are a victim of a federal crime charged and filed in this district, we can notify you of:
- the arrest of a suspected offender;
- the nature of the charges against a suspected offender;
- the scheduling of each court proceeding that you are either required or entitled to attend;
- the pre-trial release on bail or detention status of a suspected offender;
- the acceptance of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or the rendering of a verdict after trial; and
- the sentence imposed on an offender.
If you have any questions, please contact our Victim Witness Coordinator at 215.861.8200.
*NOTE: The following organizations are some, but not all, of the organizations available to assist crime victims. No such organization is affiliated with or endorsed by the United States Attorney's Office and you should independently consider and assess any services that such organizations and others may offer.
General Victim/Witness Resources
- National Organization for Victim Assistance
- National Center for Victims of Crime
- Pennsylvania Crime Victim Assistance Bureau
- Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Hotline
- National Human Trafficking Hotline
- National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
- U. S. Social Security Administration
- National Fraud Information Center
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
- Pennsylvania Real Estate Service
- Childhelp USA (Child Abuse Hotline)
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect
- Children's Advocacy Center
- Children's Crisis Treatment Center
- St. Gabriel's System
(Serves children and teenagers who are victims of crime.)
- Support Center for Child Advocacy
(Child Abuse and Neglect, Medically Needy Children, Kids'n Kin, Adoption)
- Battered Women's Justice Project
1.800.903.0111 ext. 3
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
- Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Child Protection and Custody
- Family Violence Prevention Fund/Health Resource Center
- Women Against Abuse
215.686.7082 (Legal Center)
- Women in Transition
- Women Organized Against Rape
- Lutheran Settlement House/Bilingual Domestic Violence Project
- Congreso De Latinos Unidos
215.978.1174 (Domestic Violence Hotline)
- Rape and Crime Victims/Trauma Survivors Program Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety
- National Elder Care Locator Services Hotline
- Action Alliance Elderly Victim Assistance Program
- Commission on Services for the Aging
- Philadelphia Corporation for Aging
- Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE)
- Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging/Older Adult Protective Services
- Legal Service Corp.
- Community Legal Service
- Crime Victims' Legal Center
- Philadelphia Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service