Victim Assistance Program (VAP)
The Victim Assistance Program (VAP) of the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office provides help to victims and witnesses of crimes. VAP functions to see that victims and witnesses do not suffer unnecessary hardship as a result of a crime. VAP is also designed to help individuals and families deal with the traumas that result from a violent crime. Please refer to the Victim’s Bill of Rights (en Español) for additional information.
The right to be …
- Free from intimidation.
- Informed about the Criminal Justice System.
- Told about available compensation for victims of crime and eligibility.
- Given aid and information.
- Told about social service agencies that could help you.
- Treated fairly and with respect.
- Assisted by your criminal justice agencies.
VAP CAN PROVIDE:
- Immediate general and emotional support services to victims and family members of crime victims.
- Assistance to victims in filing for NYS Office of Victim Services Compensation when victims have medical, counseling, funeral, loss of support, loss of wages and/or court transportation costs.
- Needs assessment with appropriate advocacy, information and referrals.
- Information and reminders regarding court dates and other appointments.
- Help in initiating the return of confiscated property.
- Court accompaniment.
- Updates on status of cases to victims.
- Collection of information from victims for case files.
- Assistance with victim impact and parole hearing statements.
NYS FAIR TREATMENT STANDARDS LAW GRANTS CRIME VICTIMS:
- The right to be consulted by the District Attorney’s Office for their views regarding disposition of the case by dismissal, plea of guilty or trial, release of defendant pending trial and availability of sentencing alternatives such as community supervision and restitution.
- To be provided, where possible, with a separate, secure waiting area when awaiting court appearances.
- To have property that has been held for evidentiary purposes promptly returned.
- To be provided with assistance in informing their employers that the need for victims’ cooperation may necessitate absences from work, and informing their creditors of circumstances that may affect their ability to meet obligations.
- Call the police at 911: When calling the police state your full name, address, and be sure of the street or location where the crime occurred. Also, state if anyone has been injured. Do not touch anything at the crime scene: If something is spilled, dropped or just scattered about, leave all items untouched. Try to remember details of the crime: Reconstruct in your mind what the condition of the scene was before the crime. Include any strange occurrences that may have preceded the crime.
- Make a list of stolen property: In cases of stolen property, list all the property that was stolen. Try to include serial numbers and approximate value.
- Report any suspicious or abnormal activity: If a usual routine in your area has been interrupted or if you notice any activity out of the ordinary, make a note of it and consider calling the police. You may prevent the successful commission of a crime.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS:
District Attorney’s Office
Victim Assistance Program
(315) 435-3916 ext. 4336 or ext. 4425
Syracuse Police Department
Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office
Child Abuse Hotline (24 hours)
Adult Protective Services
Vera House (24 hours Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services)
VINE (Victim Information Notification Everyday)
(Inmate and Parole Information)