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.