Suffolk Victim/Witness Services, located in the office of the Commonwealth's Attorney, helps ensure that crime victims and witnesses receive fair and compassionate treatment while participating in the criminal justice system. This program was instituted by Suffolk's Commonwealth's Attorney, C. Phillips "Phil" Ferguson, in 1983. At that time, Suffolk was one of the few localities in the State of Virginia with such a program. It began with a part-time director, who was also an investigator. In 1986, a full-time director was hired through a State Grant and now there are a total of five persons in the program under the directorship of 26 year victim advocate veteran, Diane Bryant.
Information on Being a Victim or Witness
As a victim or witness, your role is an important one. However, the responsibilities involved may be unfamiliar to you. This website is designed to acquaint you with the steps involved in bringing a case to trial and your role in the process. It also describes your rights as a victim or witness, and the various services available to you.
Victim & Witness Rights
Under the directorship of 26 year victim advocate veteran, Diane Bryant, this program ensures that victims of and witnesses to crime: are informed of their rights; are treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity; receive authorized services; have the opportunity to be heard at all critical stages of the criminal justice process; and can make the courts aware of the full impact of the crime.
Services provided in Suffolk are equal to any provided in the State of Virginia and range from advance court notification to financial assistance.