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NCJ Number: 191668 
Title: Informational Guide to Virginia's Crime Victim and Witness Rights Act
Corporate Author: Virginia Dept of Criminal Justice Services
United States of America
Date Published: November 1997
Page Count: 42
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Office for Victims of Crime
Washington, DC 20531
Virginia Dept of Criminal Justice Services
Richmond, VA 23219
Grant Number: 97-A9526VW96
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Virginia Dept of Criminal Justice Services
805 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Brochure/Pamphlet
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This brochure was prepared to assist crime victims and witnesses. Its purpose is to provide information about the rights and responsibilities under the “Crime Victim and Witness Rights Act” (usually referred to as the Victims’ Bill of Rights) and related laws. It also provides basic information about the criminal justice system process and definitions to help in understanding the criminal justice process.
Abstract: The Crime Victim and Witness Rights Act and most other victims’ rights laws recognize individuals as crime “victims” when they have suffered physical, emotional or financial harm as a direct result of a felony or certain misdemeanor crimes. This definition of victim includes spouses, children, parents, and guardians of certain victims. The “Crime Victim and Witness Rights Act” (usually referred to as the Victims’ Bill of Rights) was made law by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995. The purpose of this law is to ensure that victims and witnesses of crime are informed of their rights; are treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity and that their privacy is protected; receive authorized services; have opportunities to make the courts aware of the full impact of the crime; and have the opportunity to be heard at critical stages of the criminal justice process. The brochure includes the following information: the rights accorded to crime victims and witnesses; the responsibilities of victims or witnesses; victim and witness protection (protective orders, stalking, and separate waiting areas); financial information (compensation for witnesses, property return, restitution and victims’ compensation); notifications (employer intercession, how to obtain notification, notifying the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, sheriff, jail superintendent, Department of Corrections and the Attorney General’s Office); victim input (the right to remain in the courtroom and submit victim impact statements); and courtroom assistance (closed-circuit television, closed preliminary hearing, confidentiality, and interpreters). There is also information on the criminal justice process, tips on testifying, local telephone numbers and agency contacts, and a glossary of frequently used terms.
Main Term(s): Victim impact statements; Victim services
Index Term(s): Financial assistance to victims; Sentencing recommendations; Victim assistance directories; Victim Services Notification; Victim-witness programs; Victims of violent crime; Witness assistance
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