Division News
PCAO Releases Victims' Rights Guide
The Pima County Attorney's Office Victim Services Division releases new Victims' Rights Guide. The guide is intended to help explain criminal proceedings and the legal rights of victims.

Victim Services Division holds 2020 Crisis Intervention and Victimology Training
Victim Services will be holding a Crisis Intervention and Victimology Training beginning January 21, 2020. Click above for more information or call 724-5525
The Victim Services Division mission is to support, educate, and empower victims of crime to seek justice that strengthens and rebuilds their lives. Victim Services advocates assist and provide support to victims at crime scenes, right after an incident has occurred, and as a victim navigates the criminal justice system. Victims can receive information on community resources, have in-person support at court hearings and be comforted, emotionally, by an advocate through the Victim Services Division.

The Pima County Attorney's Office - Victim Services Division was established in 1975, where it was the first in the nation to provide comprehensive assistance to victims of crimes. The division has served as a model for programs in other states and in several foreign countries. More than 35 staff and an additional 100 volunteers team up to provide on-call services 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, to serve crime victims.

Our Victim Services Division staff and volunteers have been called upon to work locally, nationally, and internationally to support victims and other trauma survivors. Members of the division have responded to incidents such as: the January 8th Tucson tragedy, the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City, the Oklahoma City bombing, the war and genocide in Bosnia, and most recently, the mass shooting in Las Vegas. These are only a few of the many local, national and international tragedies that have benefitted from the services provided by the Pima County Attorney's Office - Victim Services Division. Each year, Victim Services makes more than 16,000 victim contacts and helps more than 5,000 people in crisis.

We are a division that continually looks for new ways to improve and provide better and more comprehensive services and support to victims of crime. Those who are victimized do not deserve to be alone! We are here for you!

Support is Here for YOU!

 

If you are a victim of a crime or know someone who is a victim of a crime and would like support and/or resource information, please call us at 520-724-5525 and ask to speak with an advocate. Advocates are available Monday – Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm (excluding government Holidays).

 

Please select each link for more information on community resources, criminal justice process, and victim compensation

 

Note: The Pima County Attorney's Office – Victim Services Division provides support regardless of race, color, national origin including persons with limited English proficiency, sex, religion, disability, age, and genetic information. You may file a discrimination complaint if you believe that the Pima County Attorney's Office has discriminated against you for any of the reasons listed above.

For more information on how to file a civil rights non-discrimination complaint
click here.

For Tucson City Court cases, which are not handled by the County Attorney, please call: 520-791-5483.

 

45 Years of Victim Services (1975-2020)

This year marks the 45th Anniversary of Victim Services (formerly Victim Witness). Victim Witness was started in 1975 by Dennis DeConcini who was the County Attorney. He recognized that in order to provide support and help crime victims, when crime victims had no rights and little voice in the criminal justice process, a division was needed to offer the essential basics to victims who deserved the support.  

The program was one of the first in the nation and became a model for many other programs, providing on-scene crisis intervention services and later court advocacy. In subsequent years, under County Attorney Stephen Neely and Barbara LaWall, the program grew and expanded immensely, due to their dedication in having and supporting a division focused on aiding victims and survivors. Today, Victim Services has over 35 staff members and over 100 volunteers who serve over 8,000 victims each year.
Inside the Victim Services Division
Domestic Violence (DV)

The Pima County Attorney's Office has a special Domestic Violence Unit staffed by specially trained Victim Advocates who provide the unique services needed by victims of DV. A victim advocate can be present for all domestic violence court hearings, including many misdemeanors. Our fundamental goals, in domestic violence cases, are to engage in early and meaningful contact and communication with victims, encourage swift and certain accountability for offenders, aggressively prosecute repeat offenders, and utilize investigative and prosecution techniques that enhance victim safety and offender accountability. Members of the DV team also actively participate in community groups and events that enhance prevention and awareness of domestic violence issues.


Read more about the Domestic Violence Unit
Victims' Rights
ARIZONA CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOR CRIME VICTIMS ARTICLE II, SECTION 2.1, VICTIMS' BILL OF RIGHTS

A. To preserve and protect victims' rights to justice and due process, a victim of crime has a right:

1. To be treated with fairness, respect and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment or abuse, throughout the criminal justice process.
2. To be informed, upon request, when the accused or convicted person is released from custody or has escaped.
3. To be present at and, upon request, to be informed of all criminal proceedings when the defendant has the right to be present.
4. To be heard at any proceeding involving a post-arrest release decision, a negotiated plea and sentencing.

Click here for complete Crime Victims' Bill of Rights

Click here for the Spanish version of the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights
Court Advocacy
Being the victim of a crime is often very traumatic, and the criminal justice system can be overwhelming and confusing. Trained Victim Advocates are available to help. When a crime results in criminal prosecution, the Victim Advocate is available to:
  • Inform victims of their rights.
  • Explain the criminal justice system and the roles of other parties.
  • Obtain victim input before decisions are made about the case.
  • Accompany victims to court and trial to provide emotional support, explain court proceedings, and answer questions.
  • Work with detectives and Deputy County Attorneys to address victims' or witnesses' concerns.
  • Inform victims of avenues for seeking financial restitution and property return.
  • Assist with writing victim impact statements.
  • Help with scheduling for court appearances.
  • Make referrals to appropriate resources.

If you are a victim in a case that is being prosecuted by the Pima County Attorney's Office and have questions or need assistance please call 520-724-5525.
Kids and Teens in Court
A child/teen who is a victim or a witness to a crime often faces a legal system that can be overwhelming. Adding to this complex and unfamiliar process is the possibility of having to appear in court to testify, which can cause fear and anxiety. Many of these feelings are based on misconceptions about the courtroom. Kids and Teens in Court is a free program intended to empower these young victims and witnesses, and to educate their caregivers in a safe and fun environment.

Kids and teens who participate will:
  • Become familiar with the courtroom environment and procedures.
  • Become familiar with various court personnel including judges, bailiffs, and attorneys.
  • Become familiar with the role of a witness.
  • Have an easier time expressing needs in the courtroom.
  • Develop general coping skills that will help them learn to manage stress and anxiety.

If your child is a victim of or a witness to a crime that is being prosecuted through the Pima County Attorney's Office and you would like them to participate in Kids and Teens in Court, please call 724-5525.
Crisis Intervention Services
Immediately following a crime, victims often experience a variety of emotional and physical reactions to the trauma. Trained Victim Advocates are available to provide crisis intervention services to help mitigate the effects and assist victims with their most immediate needs. Victim Advocates:
  • May respond to homes, hospitals, schools and other scenes to provide crisis intervention at the request of law enforcement or health care staff.

  • Are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

  • Can assist victims of all crime types including domestic violence, sexual assault, robbery, assault, and homicide.

  • Are also available for those affected by a sudden or traumatic death.

  • Can provide emotional support, answer questions, assess needs, offer resources and provide community referrals.

Victim Compensation
Crime Victim Compensation may be able to provide financial assistance to crime victims who have incurred a financial loss as a direct result of a crime. The perpetrator does not have to be charged or convicted for the victim to apply for assistance. However, the victim seeking compensation must fully cooperate with law enforcement and the Pima County Attorney's Office. A written application is required. Applications are reviewed and decisions are made by the Pima County Crime Victim Compensation Claims Board.

If you have been a victim of a crime and feel you may qualify for victim compensation, click here to learn more.
Volunteer Opportunities

The Victim Services Division is in need of diverse volunteers. Volunteers attend a comprehensive training course and must commit to the division for at least 1 year with regularly scheduled volunteer hours. There are two types of volunteer opportunities within the Victim Services Division: crisis response and court advocacy. Volunteering can be a gateway to becoming a staff member or building your resume to later become involved in areas such as: law enforcement, advocacy, and mental health.


Crisis Response Volunteers

Crisis volunteers provide crisis intervention services to victims at the request of law enforcement. These volunteers work closely with law enforcement, in Pima County, to respond on-scene to a variety of calls including sexual assault, homicide, robbery, burglary, domestic violence, suicide, and child abuse. They are also, sometimes, asked to make death notifications with law enforcement. Volunteers provide calendar coverage for 24/7/365 support to victims and community members.


Court Advocacy Volunteers

Court volunteers work during normal business hours to provide daytime court advocacy to victims and witnesses involved in criminal cases. Volunteers learn about the criminal justice system, community resources and a wide variety of court cases. They work closely with staff members, other agencies, and Deputy County Attorneys to provide a wide variety of victim support services.


If you are interested in learning more about how to become a Victim Service Volunteer, please call (520) 724-5525 or email vsvolunteers@pcao.pima.gov.

Violence Prevention
The Victim Services Division offers a two-hour workshop on Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention. This workshop is geared toward adults who work with or are concerned about youth in the community. During this presentation, participants will learn:
  • The facts about sexual violence and its impact on our youth, families, and communities.
  • The importance of instilling in our youth the concept of appropriate boundaries.
  • The connections between bullying, sexual harassment, relationship violence, child sexual abuse, and rape.
  • How to spot red flags regarding domestic and dating violence.
  • Arizona laws related to sexual violence and the legal definition of consent.
  • How to respond to a disclosure of sexual violence.
  • Appropriate resources and interventions.
  • Mandated reporting laws.
  • Easy steps everyone can take to help reduce sexual violence.

To schedule a workshop, contact the Victim Services Division at 520-724-5525.

Contact Information and Satellite Locations

In the fall of 2007, Victim Services received a grant to expand its advocacy and education services into the rural areas of Pima County including Marana, Oro Valley, Green Valley, Sahuarita and Ajo in order to assist crime victims who traditionally have been underserved. Each satellite office is able to provide crisis support services and court advocacy to victims of crime and crisis. If you have been a victim of a crime in one of these communities or areas and your case is being prosecuted in one of the municipal or regional Justice Courts, please contact the appropriate office below.



South Satellite Victim Services Office
(Green Valley, Sahuarita, and surrounding areas)
Sahuarita Police Department
315 W. Sahuarita Center Way
Sahuarita, AZ 85629
520-631-2835

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Pima County Attorney's Office Juvenile Division
2235 E. Ajo Way
Tucson, AZ 85713
520-724-2991


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Ajo Satellite Victim Services Office
(Ajo and surrounding areas)
421 W. Esperanza Ave.
Ajo, Arizona 85321
520-387-3664


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32 N. Stone Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85701