Victim / Witness Assistance

The Monroe County Victim / Witness Assistance Program has been established in the Office of the District Attorney to provide information, assistance, and advocacy to all victims, witnesses and significant others.  Our mission is to ensure that all victims and witnesses are treated with dignity, compassion and respect throughout the Criminal / Juvenile Justice System.

As a victim, you can expect that the advocate assigned to your case will treat you with dignity and respect.  Your advocate will assist you in understanding the Criminal / Juvenile Justice System as well as inform you of developments in your case as they occur.

The information on this website is to help you to understand your rights and responsibilities as a crime victim, as well as other information you may find helpful.

After reviewing the information provided here, if you have additional questions regarding this office or the services we provide, please fell free to contact one of the advocates listed on our Victim / Witness Advocates page. We welcome your questions as well as any suggestions you may have to assist us to help you in the best way possible.


Victim Impact Statements

Victims of crime have the right to participate and to be heard in the criminal justice system through the use of Victim Impact Statements.  A Victim Impact Statement provides the victim with an opportunity to address the court prior to sentencing.

This opportunity also allows victims to personalize the crime and express the impact it has had on them and their families.  This process may also aid victims in their emotional recovery.

You are under no obligation to submit a Victim Impact Statement – it is your choice.  It can be either a written or oral statement given to the Judge at the time of sentencing.

Typically, a Victim Impact Statement will contain the following:

1. The physical, financial, psychological or emotional impact of the crime.

  • Medical treatment, ongoing medical problems as the result of the crime. 
  • Financial burden of medical treatment, counseling, loss of work, replacing damaged or stolen items. 
  • Emotional struggles due to fears, loss of a loved one, relocation, ability to related to others, changes in relationships, trust, etc.

 2. The harm done to family

  • Changes in family relationships or roles 
  • Financial struggles

 3. The need for restitution

 4. The Victim’s opinion of an appropriate sentence for the offender.

If you need further assistance in preparing a Victim Impact Statement, please contact our agency.

Pennsylvania Crime Victims Bill of Rights

As a victim of crime in Pennsylvania you have the following rights:

To receive basic information concerning the services to assist you;

To be notified of certain significant actions and proceedings pertaining to your case, including, in personal injury crimes, the arrest of the suspect and escape from police custody;

To be accompanied at all public criminal proceedings by a family member, a victim advocate or another person;

In cases of personal injury crimes, burglary, or driving under the influence involving bodily injury, to submit prior comment to the prosecutor’s office on the potential reduction or dropping of any charge or changing of a plea;

To offer prior comment or to submit a written victim impact statement for the Judge’s consideration at sentencing;

To recover your losses, to the extent possible, through restitution, compensation through the victim’s compensation program and the return of property which was seized as evidence when it is no longer needed by the prosecutor;

In personal injury crimes where the offender is sentenced to a state prison, to provide prior comment on and to receive notice of release decisions, and to be immediately notified if the offender escapes;

In personal injury crimes where the offender is sentenced to a local correctional facility, to receive notice of release decisions and to be immediately notified if the offender escapes;

To receive immediate notice of release on bail where the offender is committed to local correctional facility for violation of a protection from abuse order;

To receive notice when an offender is committed to a mental health facility from a state prison and of the discharge, transfer or escape of the offender from the mental health facility;

and to have assistance in the preparation of, submission of and follow-up on the financial assistane claims to the Crime Victim’s Compensation Board.