About the Victim Witness Assistance Program

Victim Witness Assistance Program

DA Conley met with advocates and homicide victims' family members during an informal breakfast meeting in 2010.

The purpose of the Victim Witness Assistance Program of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office is to provide information, support, and assistance to witnesses, crime victims and their family members.  Victim Witness Advocates are located in each of the district courts in the county and the Boston Municipal Court, in the superior court, and in specialized units.

DA Conley firmly believes that as prosecutors, the most fundamental duty is to serve the victims of crime, and to that end, he employs more than three dozen victim advocates at each of the nine district and municipal courthouses in Suffolk County, as well as in specialized Superior Court trial teams. Advocates orient witnesses, victims and their families to the criminal justice system and provide emotional support during what is often a life-changing series of events.

Victim Witness Advocates also provide the following rights and services:

  • Crisis intervention and emotional support
  • Planning and assistance for safety and protection, including applying for restraining orders
  • Referrals for medical, legal, and financial assistance and for counseling and other social services
  • Explanation of the court process and ongoing information regarding the status of criminal cases
  • Orientation to court facilities; provision of a separate and safe waiting area in the courthouse; and accompaniment and support during court proceedings
  • Assistance with restitution, witness fees, and filing Victim of Violent Crime Compensation claims
  • Assistance with property return and intervention with employers and creditors
  • Arranging for victims to confer and provide input to prosecutors before trial, about a sentencing recommendation, before a case is dismissed, and before hearings about a victim’s confidential records
  • Assistance in offering Victim Impact Statements to the court
  • Assistance with applying for notification of an inmate’s status
  • Assistance with arrangements for transportation to court and child care, if necessary
  • Specialized services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, gang and juvenile violence, child victims and witnesses, elderly and disabled victims, and survivors of homicide and motor vehicle homicide victims

Witnesses

If you have been victimized by crime or are scheduled to testify as a witness, please contact the Victim Witness Assistance Program at (617) 619-4200.

Special services are available for victims and witnesses with disabilities.

The Victim Witness Assistance Program will arrange for a foreign language or sign language interpreter for witnesses and victims who do not speak English.

Child Witnesses

Children who must testify in court often find the experience confusing and frightening. The District Attorney’s Victim Witness Assistance Program is specially equipped to prepare children for their courtroom appearance.

Victim Compensation

By law, funds are provided to reimburse victims of violent crime for medical bills and other expenses related to their victimization, dependents or family members of homicide victims, or any person responsible for the funeral expenses of a homicide victim.

Through the Attorney General’s Victim Compensation Division, eligible victims of violent crime can receive financial assistance for medical and dental care, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, crime scene clean up services, and security measures. To contact the Victim Compensation Division directly, please call: (617) 727-2200 ext. 2160.

To access Victim Compensation forms in English and Spanish, click here.

Links to Helpful Forms

  • Resources for Victims and their Families
  • Preparing for Court
  • Victim Impact Statement Guidelines
  • Reglamentos para la Declaracion de Impacto de Victimas
  • Application for Notice of an Offender’s Release

    District Court and Superior Court Contact Numbers

    Superior Court: (617) 619-4000
    Boston Municipal Court: (617) 619 – 4050
    Boston Juvenile Court: (617) 619-4222
    Brighton District Court: (617) 782-5236
    Charlestown District Court: (617) 725-8720
    Chelsea District Court: (617) 884-2200
    Dorchester District Court: (617) 287-1195
    East Boston District Court: (617) 567-8650
    Roxbury District Court: (617) 445-8618
    South Boston District Court: (617) 269-7777
    West Roxbury District Court: (617) 522-4471