In 1996, the Louisiana Legislature enacted Revised Statute 16:17, which created the position of Victim Assistance Coordinator within the office of the District Attorney. With the creation of this position, victims have a professional in the DA’s Office whose job it is to ensure that victims’ rights are honored. The coordinator is an advocate for the rights of victims both in the courtroom and in the office. The victim is kept informed about the process of the case. Most importantly, the Victim Assistance Coordinator program is an integral part of the effective and efficient prosecution of criminals. The coordinator will ensure that the victims’ rights are honored and that victims are treated with dignity and respect.
The Victim Assistance Coordinator is also the liaison between the prosecutor and the victim. The coordinator not only keeps the victim aware of upcoming court proceedings, but explains the proceedings to the victim. In addition, the coordinator provides information to the community about victims rights and works with various community groups on behalf of the rights of victims in the community.
All victims have certain rights:
- The right to reasonable notice and to be present and heard during all critical stages of pre- and post- conviction proceedings;
- The right to confer with the prosecution prior to final disposition of the case;
- The right to refuse to be interviewed by the accused or a representative of the accused;
- The right to review and comment on any pre- or post-sentence report;
- The right to a reasonably prompt conclusion of the case;
- The right to seek restitution;
- The right to be informed upon the release from custody or the escape of the accused or the offender.
If you as a victim need assistance please contact our Victim Assistance Coordinator.