Constitutional AmendmentIn 1990, the people of Arizona voted to amend our state constitution to give rights to victims of crime. If you become a victim of a crime or you witness one, you will probably be upset, nervous and worried. You may also be confused by the legal system.
The Santa Cruz County Attorney's Office now coordinates several programs to provide assistance to victims and witnesses. We want to help you better understand how your role as a witness is a vital part of seeking justice.
OperationThe Santa Cruz County Attorney's Victim Services Program began operating in 1985. The program is designed to assure that victims and witnesses of crimes are treated with dignity and respect. Being victimized can be overwhelming, frightening and confusing. Our staff and volunteers are here to provide information, support and assistance to victims and witnesses of a crime.
The Victim Services Program provides 2 types of services:
- Criminal justice system support
- Victim compensation information and assistance
Witness ServicesThis service is available to assist victims and witnesses through the criminal justice system.
- Case status information
- Criminal justice system advocacy
- Information about victim rights and responsibilities
- Referrals to community agencies
- Written information on the criminal justice system process and hearings
Victim CompensationVictim compensation began in Arizona to relieve victims of some of the financial stress they experience when victimized. The State of Arizona collects fines from convicted felons to fund Victim Compensation. In Santa Cruz County, a Board comprised of five local volunteers reviews claims and disburses funds to eligible victims. Information about Victim Compensation and assistance with completing claim forms are available through the Victim Services Program. Only victims of personal or violent crimes are eligible to receive these funds.
- Aggravated assault
- Armed robbery
- Child molestation
- Sexual assault
- Counseling expenses
- Funeral costs
- Loss of wages
- Medical / Dental expenses
VolunteersVolunteers are crucial, and without them many services could not be provided. In order for the program to be successful, volunteer advocates are needed. Volunteers are extensively trained in communication skills, community resources, vicitimology, and dealing with people in crises.
Volunteer are needed to provide:
- Court related services
- Crisis intervention counseling
- Office work and research
ReferralsReferrals to the Santa Cruz County Attorney's Victim Services Program may originate from victims, law enforcement officers, prosecuting attorneys, judges and social service agencies. We encourage victims or other community members to call for information about the program. All services are free of charge.
Sustainable Technology Resources and Interventions for Victim Empowerment (STRIVE) provides computer based resources and mobile phone apps to assist victims of crime in accessing their legal rights. Partners at the Mariposa Community Health Clinics and Sierra Vista Family Advocacy Center assist victims in obtaining temporary orders of protection/injunctions against harassment and low and pro-bono legal services through the Internet. STRIVE also provides legal forms on the STRIVE Portal and Santa Cruz County website that victims need to obtain basic legal rights. The mobile phone app developed by STRIVE allows victims to access legal forms, store orders of protection, and check on the supervisory status of offenders. The STRIVE Coordinator educates the community on these resources and works with service providers and first responders to help victims use technology to simplify their access to justice.
Victims’ of crime can access these services by visiting a Mariposa Community Health Clinic in Santa Cruz County, The Family Advocacy Center in Sierra Vista or the County Attorney’s office in Nogales. For additional information on STRIVE, please download our brochure.