Pima County Attorney’s Office Upgrades Victim Notification System for Faster Service


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Pima County Attorney's Office Upgrades Victim Notification System
Victims of crime in Pima County now have a high-speed option for getting vital information about court dates and other updates in the cases against those accused of causing them harm. The Pima County Attorney’s Office is offering electronic notification of events related to the prosecution of cases, including text messages and emails that victim advocates say will reach more people, including the unhoused who don’t have an address to receive traditional mail service.

The newly launched service is designed to ensure that victims are aware in advance of events associated with their cases, said Genaro Venalonzo, an administrative specialist at PCAO. “We wanted to go with e-communications because I started to see a bunch of return mail coming back from the victims.”

Advocates say it’s common for some victims of crime to relocate frequently, making contact more difficult. But most people do have access to cell phones, and that’s the key to maintaining communications.

“I believe that e-communication is the way to go,” Venalonzo said. “It’s something that we hadn’t done in our office before. Victims should know about their next court date, and victims should know about what’s going on and what’s going to happen. That’s our way of empowering them.”

The process of creating the system took about a year to complete. Venalonzo worked with PCAO’s Victim Services Division and PCAO’s IT team to develop an automated electronic system that victims can opt into to receive proper notification. Venalonzo also consulted with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to ensure that the program is in line with Arizona’s Victim’s Bill of Rights. The law lists specific services that must be provided to crime victims.

While communication with victims through email is routinely done throughout the state, Pima County is one of the first to use text messaging to reach victims of crime.
The electronic messaging is solely for notification of case-related events, Venalonzo said. There will be no impact on the vital personal connections between PCAO’s victim advocates and those who need support.

“You can’t replace that with a computer,” he said. “You can’t replace it with anything. You need that personal communication because we are social beings.” Moving into electronic notification also helps with PCAO’s effort to use less paper while saving the County money on postage costs. PCAO sends out anywhere between 300 to 400 letters for felony victim notifications via mail per day.

When a victim opts into the electronic notification process, PCAO’s online case management program, advocates, and support staff will maintain, process, and generate notifications. That information will go out to victims based on contact information contained in their case files. Those who wish to sign up for enotification can fill out the attached communications form. They can also contact the PCAO Victims Services Division at (520) 724-5525 for more information.

The Pima County Attorney’s Office is committed to restorative justice, transparency, and accountability as the focus of a mission that also seeks alternatives to incarceration when appropriate, provides support for victims, and strives to be inclusive and equitable to all segments of the communities we serve in the pursuit of public safety and wellbeing.


Media Contact: Shawndrea Thomas
Director of Communications
Pima County Attorney’s Office
(520) 724-5738 (Office)
(520) 310-4720 (Mobile)

Laura Conover

Laura Conover

Pima County Attorney

Media Contacts

Shawndrea Thomas | 520.724.5571
Tony Gallego | 520.724.4170

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