The Victim/Witness Unit provides information to victims and witnesses concerning the Lehigh County court system and the progress of their cases through the system. Some of the services provided are:
Case status; court accompaniment; sentencing notification; assistance with restitution and property return; employer/school/creditor intervention; interviews; assistance with preparation and submission of oral or written victim impact statements; assistance with intimidation and harassment; assistance in filing claims with the Victims Compensation Assistance Program; assistance in enrollment in county and state inmate release notification programs; a separate victim/witness waiting room; referrals to other community agencies for help with non-court related issues; support and advocacy; crisis intervention; explanation of the criminal justice system; and preparation for court testimony.
For Victim Witness Services please email the Victim Witness Unit at VictimWitnessUnit@lehighcounty.org or please call the Lehigh County Victim/Witness Coordinator at 610-782-3890.
PENNSYLVANIA’S VICTIM BILL OF RIGHTS
As a crime victim, you have these rights:
PA SAVIN (PENNSYLVANIA STATEWIDE AUTOMATED VICTIM INFORMATION NOTIFICATION)
PA SAVIN is a free, confidential notification service about an offender’s release, transfer or escape from a county jail or state prison. For assistance in registering for this service, please call the Lehigh County Victim/Witness Coordinator at 610-782-3890 or call 1-866-972-7284. For more information, visit www.pacrimevictims.state.pa.us.
ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS AND SERVICES
More information for victims is available at www.pccd.state.pa.us, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Website. Information on victims’ compensation for victims of personal injury crimes is available.
The Pennsylvania Office of the Victim Advocate (OVA) can register crime victims in cases where judges have ordered jurisdiction of offenders to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and/or the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. Visit www.ova.state.pa.us or call 1-800-322-4472 for more information. Registration is necessary to get notification of your right in Pennsylvania to provide input about any pre-release and parole review of an offender.
Visit www.cvclv.org, the Website for the Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley, to learn more about its services.
Services to domestic violence victims are available from Turning Point of Lehigh Valley. Visit www.turningpointlv.org or call 610-439-3369.
GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENTS
A Victim Impact Statement is usually the only opportunity crime victims have to address a judge and describe the impact a crime has had on their lives. We hope these guidelines will help you to prepare a statement. Before you write your statement, ask yourself:
The Victim Impact Statement can be read to the judge or handed to the judge before sentencing. If you are not comfortable reading the statement, you can ask someone to read it for you. You can write as much or as little as you want. The offender will be present in the courtroom.