Victim-Witness Information & Assistance
Do You Believe You Are A Victim?
If you believe you are a victim of a crime, your first step is to report the crime to your nearest law enforcement office. If your local police cannot assist, you may try reporting to your local Alaska State Trooper Office or your local FBI office.
This office handles only federal crimes. Federal crimes in which assistance may be provided include bank and postal robberies, child pornography, fraud and financial crimes (such as identity theft, telemarketing and investment fraud), hate crimes, or other crimes (such as homicide, sexual assaults, or child abuse) that occur on federal property.
There must be an indictment and this is after federal law enforcement has investigated and produced a report of the facts and evidence substantiating a crime. After indictment, crime victims will be placed into the Victim Notification System and will automatically receive notice of case status and court dates.
The mission of the Victim-Witness Program for the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska, is to respond to the needs and uphold the rights of victims and witnesses by implementing and carrying out the requirements of federal law and Department of Justice regulations.
The Victim-Witness Program provides federal crime victims and witnesses with information, services, and support during federal prosecution. Our office is committed to ensuring victims and witnesses of crime are treated fairly throughout their contact with the federal criminal justice system.
The United States Department of Justice and this office have taken several steps to make the participation by victims of crime and witnesses more effective and meaningful. One of these steps is the creation of this web section. We hope it will provide you with the answers to many of your questions and give you sufficient information to understand your rights and responsibilities.
In response to the 1981 President's Task Force on Violent Crime, and the Victim and Witness Protection Act (VWPA) of 1982, victim and witness assistance in the federal government was assigned to the U.S. Attorney's Office. A Victim-Witness Coordinator was appointed for each U.S. Attorney's Office to ensure compliance with the VWPA. The Attorney General of the United States established guidelines pursuant to the VWPA of 1982, and subsequent statutes have been enacted to further enhance and ensure additional rights and protections to victims and witnesses.
The VWPA was enacted "to enhance and protect the necessary role of crime victims and witnesses in the criminal justice process; to ensure that the Federal government does all that is possible within limits of available resources to assist victims and witnesses of crime without infringing on the constitutional rights of defendants; and to provide a model for legislation for state and local governments."
Face masks are required to enter the Federal Building and social distancing is to be maintained. The United States Attorneys Office is currently open. However, it is recommended to call rather than walking-in. Limited court proceedings are being conducted by a combination of video conferencing and telephone. Please call for additional information.
Dawn Shewmaker, Victim Witness Coordinator
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska
222 W. 7th Ave, Room 253, #9
907-229-7776 (duty cell)