Victim-Witness Assistance Program
The Victim Witness Assistance Program in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina desires to ensure the statutory mandate of the 2004 Crime Victims’ Rights Act. The Victim Witness Staff is dedicated to upholding the rights and protections of victims and ensuring they receive the highest degree of assistance and services as their case proceeds through the criminal justice system.
The Program seeks to provide information on rights and services to victims and witnesses of federal crimes and to encourage the participation of victims in the criminal justice system in accordance with federal law.
Victim RightsCrime Victims’ Rights Act. Enacted in October 2004, the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (part of the Justice for All Act) authorizes program efforts to—
- Help victims assert and encourage enforcement of victims’ rights.
- Promote compliance with victims’ rights laws.
- Funds grant programs and other activities to implement provisions.
- Provides an enforcement mechanism for rights delineated in the Act.
The Crime Victims’ Rights Act also gives victims the following rights in federal criminal cases (18 U.S.C. Section 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.
Best Efforts to Accord Rights
The goal of our Victim Assistance Program is to extend to each victim of crime our best efforts in fulfilling the requirements of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act and the rights afforded in the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act (VRRA), 42 U.S.C. Section 10607.
18 U.S.C. Section 3771(c) provides that: “Officers and employees of the Department of Justice and other departments and agencies of the United States engaged in detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime shall make their best efforts to see that victims are notified of, and accorded, the rights”, as described above.
Office of the Victim’s Rights Ombudsman
Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004 Complaint Form and Instructions for Victims
Victim Notification System (VNS)
The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that victims of federal crime are treated fairly as their case moves through the criminal justice system.
In order to provide victims with information on case events, the Department of Justice has developed the Victim Notification System (VNS). This page will provide you with information about VNS. Click on the link to download the VNS Brochure which is in PDF format: VNS Brochure
IMPORTANT WITNESS INFORMATION: If you have been subpoenaed as a witness, dates and times on witness subpoenas are subject to change. If you have been subpoenaed to testify, please follow all instructions provided and check with the contact person listed on your subpoena before traveling.
|Renee Mattox||Clarissa W. Whaley|
|Victim Witness Coordinator||Victim Witness Coordinator|
|Columbia and Greenville offices||Charleston and Florence offices|
|Telephone: 803-929-3012||Telephone: 843-266-1674|
|Email: Renee.Mattox@usdoj.gov||Toll Free: 800-504-2630|