Virginia Beach Victim-Witness Program Receives Award for Service to Crime Victims

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that the office’s Victim-Witness Program received the 2011 Program of the Year award from the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (CICF).  The award was formally presented by CICF Director, Mary Vail Ware, at the Virginia Beach City Council meeting held on Tuesday evening, January 10, 2012.

According to CICF, the Program of the Year award signifies “outstanding service and advocacy on behalf of victims and for providing assistance to help ease the economic burden caused by violent crime.” Presented annually since 2004, over 100 Victim-Witness programs throughout the state were candidates for the award. A group of 18 CICF staff select the recipient based upon the amount of CICF claims submitted by the program in comparison to their population and crime rate, the program’s mechanism for and amount of restitution collection, how well the victim-witness advocates relate to their victims, and how responsive the program is to CICF requests for assistance in advancing a claim. 

Virginia Beach’s Victim-Witness program facilitated the collection of over $230,080 for 232 victims of crimes such as homicide, robbery, sexual abuse, and assault. Reimbursed expenses included medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, personal property, moving expenses, temporary housing, and transportation costs. 

“Virginia Beach has undergone quite a few changes in recent years, and the improved services to victims are evident all of the way to Richmond,” said Ware.  “You all have a lot to be proud of.” 

“Our Victim-Witness team does a tremendous job in all respects,” Bryant said.  “I’m happy for them that they received recognition in this aspect of their multifaceted efforts for victims.” 

The Criminal Injures Compensation Fund was established in Virginia in 1977 to pay unreimbursed expenses of victims who suffer physical or emotional injury or death as a result of a crime.  To date, CICF has processed over 25,000 claims from those who have been victims of violent crimes in Virginia. Annually, CICF receives approximately 2,000 claims and awards about three million dollars.  CICF is funded by court fees, assessments on offenders, restitution, and a federal Victim of Crime Act Grant.

Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.