The Victim-Witness Assistance Program
The Federal Victim-Witness Assistance Program’s goal is to ensure that victims of federal crimes are treated with fairness and respect for the victims’ dignity and privacy. This program carries out the mandates of the Federal Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982, the Crime Control Act of 1990, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the Justice for All Act of 2004, and the 2011 Attorney General’s Guidelines. These victim-witness assistance and protection laws and guidelines apply to all victims and witnesses of federal crimes who have suffered physical, financial, or emotional trauma. In compliance with these mandates, we provide a variety of notification and assistance services to victims of and witnesses to federal crimes.
The Office is committed to protecting the rights of crime victims. If you are a victim of a crime being prosecuted by our Office, the Victim Witness Coordinator can make sure that you are notified of important stages of the case and can help refer you to other agencies that provide important services, including compensation and counseling.
Federal Crime Victims’ Rights Information
If you have been notified that you are required to appear as a witness for the Government in a case or other legal proceeding being handled by this Office, the Victim/Witness Unit will make arrangements for your travel and lodging, which we will prepay. If you are coming from outside the local court area, you should not make travel arrangements yourself.
Federal Fact Witnesses Information
Restitution & Asset Forfeiture
Under federal law, restitution is mandatory for many types of crimes. While there is no guarantee that payment will be made, it is important for those victims who may be entitled to restitution to keep a record of their losses, medical expenses, property damage, and counseling expenses, with receipts when possible. This information will be needed by the probation department if someone is convicted and ordered to pay restitution.
Many national organizations assist crime victims and provide great resources for victims and their families. Contact an organization for more information.
If you believe a Department of Justice employee failed to provide crime victim rights, you may submit a complaint.
In general, the Government attempts to identify each victim in a given case, and to provide those victims with the information relevant to the case through the Department of Justice’s Victim Notification System. In cases where, due to the number of victims involved, or for other reasons, such notification is impracticable, the Government may use other methods to communicate with victims, including posting relevant information online. Click on the links below for more detailed information about specific cases:
Tonja R. Benninger, Victim-Witness Specialist
1801 4th Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Phone: (205) 244-2093
Fax: (205) 244-2180