2017 Staffing
Division Chief1
Legal Support Manager1
Probation Officer Liaison2
Paralegal Supervisor1
Victim Advocate Supervisors3
Victim Advocates16
Clerical Support4
Student Workers8

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Victim Services Division strives to reduce the trauma, frustration, and inconvenience experienced by victims, witnesses, and family members affected by crime. The division is led by Victim Services Director, Linda Peña.

The Victim Assistance Program provides comprehensive services to all crime victims, as mandated by law. Mandatory and optional services are provided to crime victims, even when a suspect has not been apprehended or prosecuted.

The Victim Services Division helps victims recover from the effects of crime. For example, some of the services they provide are:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Resource and referrals
  • Victim Compensation Board application assistance
  • Court support
  • Restitution assistance

Victim Advocates in this division are focused on providing assistance to victims of violent crimes. In 2017, they assisted 15,239 new crime victims. This assistance included 2,245 crisis interventions and 16,234 referrals to resources. In addition, advocates provided case status updates to 7,990 victims and court accompaniment to 1,674 victims. Victim Advocates also assisted in filing 898 applications with the Victim Compensation Board.

The Joint Powers Claims Unit processed 1,213 claims from victims of violent crimes and 2,441 bills from service providers. The unit also facilitated payment of $1.1 million to victims from the California Victim Compensation Board Fund.

The Criminal Restitution Recovery Unit helped to obtain and complete 1,690 orders, assisted 6,904 victims, and obtained restitution fines of over $1.5 million. In addition, the unit secured restitution for the State Victim Compensation Board in the amount of $1.3 million and it obtained restitution for victims in the amount of more than $4.6 million.

The Probation Officer Liaison provided assistance to 2,119 victims in 1,304 cases. As a result, $594,000 in restitution was distributed directly to victims in 2017.

Notable accomplishments in 2017 included:

  • The division participated in the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by hosting a Citizens of Courage Luncheon and a candlelight tribute at the San Diego Police Officer’s Association.
  • The District Attorney played a pivotal role in providing $29,924 using the DA Emergency Relief Fund for immediate needs of 49 crime victims. This fund assisted victims with expenses for medical, dental, housing, food, and personal items.
  • The program held its annual holiday drive for crime victims and their families for which Victim Services staff coordinated donations of goods, toys, clothing and gift cards to 12 families (13 adults and 31 children).
  • Victim Advocates provided training to new recruits at the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy and Southwestern Police Academy.
  • The Victim Assistance Program continued to provide outreach and education through community events such as the Annual Domestic Violence HOPE Event, the Chicano Park Day, the Human Trafficking Awareness Rally, and the National Night Out Event.
  • Court dogs provided support for 92 crime victims during 29 jury trials, 44 preliminary hearings, and numerous victim interviews with prosecutors and police officers.