Presentation on theme: "VICTIM-WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM"— Presentation transcript:
1VICTIM-WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM DISTRICT ATTORNEYVICTIM-WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM”Helping Victims Become Survivors”(REV 09/21/2011 ar)VICTIM-WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM sometimes referred to as one of the best kept secrets in L. A. County.I think you’re going to learn a lot today about how we can help you with your cases and with victimsL.A. District Attorney’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program has evolved over past 26 yearsThis District Attorney gone out of his way to interact with victims groups, support victims’ needsShari Farmer, Field DeputyJackie LaceyDistrict Attorney
2HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA VICTIM COMPENSATION PROGRAM Provides compensation for victims of a violent crimeFunding comes from restitution paid by criminal offenders through fines, orders, penalty assessments and federal matching fundsStarted in California in 1977
3VICTIM-WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TWO DIVISIONS TO ASSIST VICTIMS Direct ServicesAdvocates provide assistance to crime victims in courthouses and law enforcement stations throughout Los Angeles CountyClaims Verification UnitVictim Compensation AssistanceTwo Primary ways we Assist Victimsstaff of 30 in El Monte -Process Applications for victim compensation -Advocates in Victim Centers throughout the countyinteract directly with prosecutors to help victims
4“How can we assist a crime victim and their family?”
5What is Covered? Medical expenses Mental health counseling Relocation (up to $2,000)Home Security (up to $1,000)Loss of incomeLoss of supportFuneral/burial costs (up to $5,000)Crime scene clean-upHome/vehicle retrofittingJob retraining or similar employment services
6Emergency AssistanceAssist victim with immediate material needs such as:Temporary ShelterFoodTransportationClothingMedical CarePrescription MedicineEyeglassesDentures
7Court Escort/SupportProvide information and/or support to the victim or witness during court appearancesAccompany the victim or witness to the courtroom and remain during their court appearance
8OPTIONAL VICTIM SERVICES Penal Code § 13835.5 Creditor/Employer InterventionRestitution Information & ReferralNotification Court Calendar ChangesFuneral Arrangement AssistanceTemporary Restraining Order InformationWitness Protection Assistance/RelocationOptional services in Penal Code –some are unfortunately more prevalent in LA other countiesAssistance with funerals and burials -paid ___________Emergency relocation for victims DV and SA Primarily.
9Victims Eligible for Compensation Direct VictimDerivative Victims – family and household members, certain percipient witness to crime, primary caretaker of a victim.Immigration status is not a factorThe Restitution Fund is regulated by the California Government CodeNo handout today on the lengthy Government Code Sections on compensation, recently simplifiedBasically family and members of the householdVictim advocates versed in these details and can help you.
10When to Apply for Compensation Victim must apply within three years from the date of the incident.A minor that witnesses domestic violence or is a victim of child abuse or sexual assault, has until their 28th birthday.APPLY AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE!!!
11Eligibility CriteriaVictim must cooperate with law enforcement and prosecutorsVictim cannot be on felony probation or paroleVictim cannot have contributed to their own crimeOnly non-culpable victims expenses are paid.Must cooperate in investigation & prosecution of crimeCannot be on probation or parole – although their family members can receive limited compensation.
12Compensation Criteria Crime caused physical injury or threat of injuryProperty loss not coveredVictim Compensation Fund is payer of last resort(e.g. Victim must first use own medical insurance)The Fund covers victims who were injured or threatened with injury and certain family members.
14Presentations? District Attorney Victim-Witness Assistance Program Administrative Office3204 Rosemead Blvd., Ste. 200El Monte, California 91731Toll Free (800)Shari FarmerField Deputy – Community Outreach CoordinatorOffice: (626)Cell: (213)This is where you can contact me.Our primary office is in the Criminal Justice Center across the street.When you are assigned to an office that has an advocate from our program, it is best to work with the advocate.