Victim Witness Assistance Program
The Victim/Witness Assistance Program in the Petersburg Commonwealth Attorney’s Office supports the Commonwealth Attorney by having advocates work with the prosecutors to help ensure the comprehensive representation of crime victims and witnesses in criminal cases. Advocates are assigned to the cases the Office prosecutes and serve as liaisons between the prosecutors, victims, witnesses as developments occur in the cases. Advocates also assist crime victims with compensation forms and referrals to community services and promote awareness of victims’ rights in the community.
The program is funded by a grant administered by Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Petersburg Victim Witness Program Director is Sandie Rowe. Her office in located inside the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. She and her staff work under the direction of the Commonwealth Attorney for the City of Petersburg. Some of the services offered, free of charge, are as follows:
- Assistance in filing a claim with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund for reimbursement of medical bills, counseling, mileage, wage loss etc.
- Advance notice of judicial proceedings and case status information.
- Assistance in requesting and obtaining court ordered restitution for loss incurred as a result of a crime.
- Scheduling meetings with the prosecutor assigned to a victims’ case.
- Escorts to court for support and courtroom explanations.
- Assistance in filing for a Protective Order.
- Assistance with notification if the offender is released from jail.
- Referrals to social services, counselors, support groups, legal aid, etc.
- Assistance with placement in a shelter or safe house if needed.
- Courtroom tours before the trial date.