The heart of this prosecutor’s office resides within its victim services department. The Victoria County Criminal District Attorney’s Office has made victim services a priority in this office, with our colleagues from other agencies and in our community. The Victim Assistance Coordinator, SARA A. BILL, along with her assistant GWEN SANFORD, have the duty and responsibility to ensure that every victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is afforded their rights granted by Article 56.02 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
Ms. Bill and Ms. Sanford work closely with appropriate law enforcement agencies, prosecuting attorneys, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the judiciary to carry out this duty. In addition, they assist victims of property crime and provide crisis intervention for individuals needing protective orders.
Crime Victims’ are provided, but not limited to, the following basic services:
- Guidance throughout the judicial system;
- Ensure every victim understand their rights;
- Information about the case status and outcome;
- Assistance with filing applications for Crime Victim Compensation and answers to general questions;
- Information of and registration with the VINE program (Victim Information and Notification Everyday);
- Information about and referrals to local social service agencies in addition, work with various social service agencies to meet crime victims' needs;
- Crisis intervention and legal assistance with Protective Orders;
- Available for call-out duty 24 hours a day;
- Information and assistance with Victim Impact Statements;
- Assist and accompany prosecutors with pre-trial conferences;
- Provide restitution assistance to crime victims and information to appropriate criminal justice personnel;
- Coordinate witness appearances to include making hotel and travel arrangements;
- Provide information about the Right of Elocution to address the defendant & court after sentencing;
- Forwarding Victim Impact Statements to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice System;
- Communicate with prosecutors to answer any questions crime victims may have;
- Accompany crime victims to trials, court proceedings, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, meetings with attorneys or other appointments;
- Provide information and legal assistance to victims of domestic violence to obtain protective orders;
- Collaborate with the Crime Victim Liaisons at the Victoria County Sheriff's Office and the Victoria Police Department to coordinate efforts on improving services to crime victims;
- Assist crime victims with questions and addressing needs that may arise after their case is disposed;
- Provide information and assist with registering with TDJC victim services for parole notification and actual parole dates; and
- Work to educate the public and various agencies about victims' services.