Victim Witness Assistance Program
The United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Hampshire is committed to providing support and information to victims and witnesses involved in various stages of civil and criminal Litigation. A primary goal is to ensure that victims of crime are treated fairly, with dignity and respect for their privacy.
The office staff works together to make sure the victims are informed of the status of cases and to help victims find services to assist them in recovering from the effects of being victimized.
The Victim-Witness Unit can also provide assistance if a victim or witness feels threatened or intimidated by a suspected offender or persons acting for or with the suspected offender.
The Victim-Witness Coordinator and Advocate in the District if New Hampshire understands that going through the criminal justice system can be a very stressful, difficult, and emotional time. In addition to services already mentioned, we are also able to help you by providing:
1. A separate waiting room for witnesses who are testifying
2. Notification to victim's employers and creditors upon request
3. Information and assistance on transportation, parking, translator services, and other various and related services
4. Opportunities for victims to consult with an attorney from the government
Victim: “a person directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of a
Federal offense or an offense in the District of Columbia” (18 U.S.C. §3771(e)).
Fact Witness: “a person whose testimony consists of the recitation of facts or events.” The Victim Witness Specialist provides information and education about the judicial process and assists witnesses who are subpoenaed to testify in a federal court proceeding with travel arrangements and other needs and may come up relating to their appearance in court. The Victim Witness Specialist often accompanies the witness to the courtroom to ensure the witness’s safety and to address any concerns the witness may have while waiting to testify.
Victim Notification System:The Victim Notification System (VNS) was created to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Prison’s personnel in providing automated prompt notifications to victims to inform them of the status of the crime. VNS is an automated means by which registered victims of crime are aware of the location and status of a defendant or inmate from arrest through incarceration and release. Victims can contact the VNS Call Center (1-866-365-4968) or the Victim Internet System www.Notify.usdoj.gov at anytime to receive case, court event, and custody status updates. In addition, the victims can update their contact information and decide not to be notified for future notifications. The victims can also add an additional contact such as a guardian, attorney, or other individual to receive notifications through these systems.
Financial Assistance and Resources: The New Hampshire Victims’ Assistance Commission helps innocent victims of violent crime with expenses directly related to crime injuries. The costs of the program are paid by motor vehicle and criminal fine assessments and federal Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) grants. The VOCA grant consists of federal fines and penalties paid by defendants. Victims of Federal violent crimes may be eligible for assistance through this program.
The Federal Emergency Witness Assistance Program: The Emergency Witness Assistance Program provides the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) with a flexible option to meet a critical needs assistance to threatened witnesses on an emergency basis, to ensure their well being and availability for court proceedings or other activities related to an ongoing case. This program also addresses physical, mental, or emotional reservations that prospective witnesses, or designated witnesses, may have about participating in a specific matter before or after they have agreed to cooperate with, testify, or be available for the government. THIS PROGRAM DOES NOT PROVIDE PROTECTION TO THREATENED WITNESSES. The program does not provide protective services and does not relieve a recipient of any responsibility with regard to debt, custody, child support, court, or other obligations.
Federal Crime Victim Assistance Fund: The U.S. Attorneys’ office may request funding to provide needed services to federal crime victims. The purpose of the Federal Crime Victim Assistance Fund (FCVAF), which is derived from VOCA funds, is not intended to create a separate system of services for federal crime victims, but rather to fund services of an immediate nature for federal crime victims when no other resources are available. The FCVAF is the funding source of last resort.
Gang Threat Funds: The purpose of the Gang Threat Fund is to provide the USAOs with the flexibility to assist gang-threatened persons on an emergency basis to ensure their well-being. This is not a protection program and is no way interferes with, or replaces the role of the law enforcement agencies.
U.S. Attorney’s Informational Brochures
“Witness Rights and Information”
“Federal and State Laws and Other Information for Victims of Stalking”
“Federal Laws and Information on Domestic Violence”
“When Bank Employees are Victims of Robbery”
“Exercising Your Right to Be Heard”
Domestic Violence Hotline:
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Victim Center
National Organization for Victim Assistance:
New Hampshire Victims’ Assistance Commission
1-800-300-4500 (NH only) or (603) 271-1284
New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Defendant Inmate Search
If you are curious as to the status and whereabouts of a federal inmate, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has a website that allows you to search for information regarding an inmate. That website can be reached at: www.bop.gov.