In 1984, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office formally established the Victim Assistance Unit to address the needs of people directly affected by crime in Tarrant County. The program educates the crime victim and their family about the criminal justice process and provides information about social service agencies that can best handle their needs.
After a case is accepted for prosecution by the Criminal District Attorney’s Office, a victim assistance coordinator sends an initial contact packet to the crime victim. The packet contains informational brochures, a victim impact statement, and information about the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) program. They also receive information about and an application for crime victim compensation or property restitution, if applicable.
A victim assistance coordinator can assist in providing information on court dates, jail status, disposition information, and referrals to available social service agencies. The coordinator may also assist in completing forms and explaining general court process and procedures. The victim assistance coordinator can accompany the victim to court or meetings with prosecutors and investigators. The Victim Assistance Unit provides a comfortable, safe and secure waiting area, away from the courts and media where victims and their families can relax and feel secure during court proceedings.
The victim coordinators work closely with other agencies to provide referrals to victims of crime. They may include MADD, The Women’s Center, Alliance for Children, and the local police departments within Tarrant County, to name a few.
If you are a victim in a case that is pending in Tarrant County, you can contact the Victim Assistance Unit at 817-884-2740. We are located on the fifth floor of the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center. Please have your case number handy.