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The Victim and Witness Protection Act, along with subsequent legislation, was enacted to enhance and protect the necessary role of crime victims and witnesses involved in the criminal justice system. The role of the Victim Witness Division is to ensure that victims and witnesses of Federal crime, who have suffered physical, financial, or emotional trauma, are informed of their rights and will receive the assistance and protection to which they are entitled under the law.
The Victim Witness Division, comprised of a Victim Witness Coordinator in the Houston Office, and Victim Witness Specialists in two of the branch offices, provide a variety of services and assistance to victims and witnesses encountering the federal system. One of the functions of the unit is to provide education regarding the criminal justice process and its participants. Victim Witness staff can also notify victims and witnesses of case events, is able to provide courtroom orientation, and can accompany victims to court proceedings if desired. Financial assistance to attend trial court proceedings are also among the many services available to victims and witnesses.
Victims of crime may often experience fear, uncertainty, frustration, and even anger as a result of an offense. Victim Witness Staff are available to aid victims in addressing the many feelings and emotions that may occur. Staff members are also able to assist victims in exercising their rights as a crime victim, address specific concerns and/or dilemmas that have transpired as a result of the offense, and provide community referrals to support groups and/or counseling programs.
Both victims and witnesses serve a vital role in the prosecution of federal offenses. Without their assistance, prosecuting federal offenders may often prove difficult. The goal of the Victim Witness Division is to ensure that victims and witnesses of federal offenses are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect , and that their privacy is respected, throughout their encounters with the Federal criminal justice system.
Crime Victims’ Right Act Complaint Form:
If you have been identified as a crime victim under 18 U.S.C 3771 (e) “ a person directly or proximately harmed as a result of the commission of a Federal offense,” and believe you were denied one or more of your rights afforded by the Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004, you may complete the Complaint Form. This form cannot be completed on-line, the form must be printed and completed then mailed or faxed to the designated contact person on the form.
Victim Witness Coordinator
Houston, Texas 77002