The Victim Witness program in the United States Attorney's Office was initiated following the passage of the Victim-Witness Protection Act (VWPA) in 1982. The effort to assist victims and witnesses in the federal criminal justice system has been further bolstered by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, the Victims Rights and Restitution Act of 1990, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the Victims Rights Clarification Act of 1997.
The ultimate goal of this legislation, and the express goal of the personnel in the District of Kansas, is to insure that all crime victims and witnesses are treated with dignity and respect. Some of the services provided to victims of federal crime are as follows: notification of all significant case activity, information and assistance regarding the right to request financial compensation from the Kansas Crime Compensation Board, information and assistance regarding input to the Court regarding sentencing, information and assistance regarding the return of property, and assistance in consulting with the prosecuting attorney.
Witnesses (including victims) are provided information and direct services regarding travel, lodging and entitlements while serving as a federal witness, and in the infrequent situation where a witness or victim feels threatened, staff members can also provide information regarding the Emergency Witness Protection Act
A final responsibility of the Victim Witness Program is to provide training in victim issues to federal, state and local victim service providers. Training has been provided in the areas of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, identity crimes, and trauma and compassion fatigue.
The Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City Offices each have at least one staff member designated as the contact for victim-witness concerns.