Victim Witness Assistance
Program Coordinator: Nilda Fernandez
VICTIM WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Marin County District Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Assistance Program provides a variety of services to crime victims, witnesses and their families. Legal residency is not required to obtain these services and many of our advocates are bilingual Spanish speakers.
Our services are designed to help individuals navigate the criminal justice system by assisting them during court proceedings and with the filing of claims for compensation through the California Victim Compensation Program. The Victim Witness Assistance Program also assists individuals who, because of criminal conduct, have experienced trauma. Our specially trained advocates help these individuals overcome traumatic events by referring them to professionals and local community resources. Whether it be providing a referral list of local therapists or connecting them with a battered women's shelter, our advocates are dedicated to finding the right help for these individuals.
A violent crime can impact many aspects of a person’s life. Not only does crime affect the victim but it can also affect their loved ones and sometimes an entire community. Our specially trained advocates assist a diverse group of victims/witnesses, including members of the LGBT community.
Our advocates also serve as liaisons connecting victims with prosecutors, law enforcement and other county agencies offering services. Although our main office is located within the Marin District Attorney's Office, Room 145, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael, California, our COMMUNITY OUTREACH CALENDAR shows the other locations where you can find us throughout Marin County.
It is important to us that victims are treated with respect and dignity. Our Victim Advocates are available to ensure that crime victims and their family members are kept informed and supported throughout the criminal justice process. You can contact us during normal business hour by calling 1-415-473-5080.
Our Victim Services Program can also provide the following:
- Crisis Intervention
- Orientation to the Criminal Justice System
- Case Status and Disposition
- Resource and Referral Assistance
- Funeral/Burial Assistance
- Court escort/Accompaniment including access to our in-court therapy dog, Reiki
- Assistance with the Victim Impact Statement
- Restitution Assistance
In California, the victims of crime are afforded standing in court and possess certain rights guaranteed by the state Constitution. Information about the rights of victims, Article I Sections 25 and 28 of the state Constitution can be found here.
The County Family, Community Partnerships and Collaborations
Victims of crime shall be given first priority, their needs must be the first met. We have a number of partners in the community who share the vision of helping those victimized. Our intent is to put them back in their homes and lives, restored to full self-esteem, confident in their own personal safety, and secure in knowing that the person who victimized them will not return to repeat their victimization.
This is only a partial listing of community-based organizations with which the District Attorney's Office has established links to serve victims of crime in our community.
- Jeannette Prandi Children's Center
- County of Marin, Department of Health and Human Services - Child Protective Services
- County of Marin, Department of Health and Human Services - Adult Protective Services
- Community Violence Solutions (Marin Rape Crisis Center)
- Marin Abused Women's Services
- Domestic Violence Coordinating Council
- Child Advocates of Marin
- Marin County Schools and Law Enforcement Partnership
- Marin County Roundtable on the Prevention of Hate Violence
- Family Services Agency
- Canal Community Alliance
- Sexual Assault Response Team
The Marin County District Attorney will also work with partners in the community on restorative justice measures. For those individuals who do not pose a danger to our community and who want help, these individuals will be given opportunities, such as the Adult and Juvenile Drug Court programs or the Mental Health Court program to address often long-term, deeply ingrained patterns of substance abuse and duel diagnosis issues.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Office of Victim Services
- CDCR Victim Services Webpage
- Request for Victim Services Form 1707 [PDF]
- CDCR Juvenile Justice Victim Services Webpage