Giving Victims A Voice
The Alameda County DA’s Office is a leader in fighting for the rights of victims. Our Victim-Witness Assistance Division was started in 1974, the first victim-centered division in the nation.
Who Are Victims Of Crime In Alameda County
Crime doesn’t discriminate.The Alameda County DA’s Office is committed to serving all those who have been victimized in our community, no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation, immigration status, language spoken & disability status.
Alameda County Family Justice Center
Opened in 2005, the Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC) provides victims with support, health, and legal services, and the opportunity for physical and psychological safety, recovery, well-being, and empowerment.
Leading the way. The ACFJC is a National Training Center, teaching other communities how to best serve victims of crime using a collaborative public health model.
A one stop center with 25 onsite and over 60 offsite agencies and programs, for individuals and families experiencing domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, child abuse & abduction, elder & dependent adult abuse, and human trafficking.
Step-Up & Trauma Recovery Programs
STEP-UP (Survivor Training and Empowering – Utilizing your Potential) & STEP-UP 2 WORK empower women with the personal, professional, and financial skills. The ACFJC is also a Trauma Recovery Center providing mental health treatment.
Giving Victims a Voice
A History of Leading the Way
The Alameda County DA’s Office is a leader in fighting for the rights of victims. Our Victim-Witness Assistance Division was started in 1974, the first of its kind in the nation. We have a long history of demonstrating that we value, support, and guide victims of crime through this difficult experience. This Division is a flagship of our office.
Victim-Witness Assistance Division: Making A Difference
- The DA’s Office provides high quality services to victims of crime.
- In 2017: We served15,078* victims and their families. Provided 77,908 distinct services to victims of crime.
- In FY 2016-2017, we helped victims and their families by processing 2,973 claims
for $3 million for immediate expenses.
- In the decade between 2007 and 2017, the Alameda County DA’s Office Restitution Unit
had over $140 million in restitution orders from the court.
A Victim-Centered Approach
The DA’s office changed the conversation to a more victim-centered approach to prosecution. We acknowledge the hurt and trauma experienced by victims of crime, and we provide guidance and compassion to victims and their families.
We have specially trained Victim-Witness Advocates who serve as liaison between victims, prosecutors, law enforcement, and other agencies. This ensures the criminal justice process does not further traumatize the victims. Our advocates accompany victims when meeting prosecutors, introduce them to courtrooms, sit with them while testifying, and make referrals to other agencies for specialized services.
Our caring and helpful employees in the Claims Unit assist victims to apply for state funding for necessary expenses (such as for funerals and burials, counseling, wage loss, and relocation assistance). They help remove that burden and allow them the space to grieve, heal, and rebuild their lives.
The DA’s Office instituted a pilot restitution program in 1998 that was so successful it became a permanent program under the leadership of DA O’Malley. The Restitution Unit continued to expand and now helps other DA’s offices around the state establish their own units to pursue restitution on behalf of victims.
*Plus an additional 13,718 victims served at the Alameda County Family Justice Center (see ACFJC infographic).
Download the Infographic (PDF)
Who are victims of crime in Alameda County?
The Alameda County DA’s Office is committed to serving all those who have been victimized in our community, no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation, immigration status, languages spoken, or disability status.
We appreciate and embrace differences, and tailor our services to provide for the diverse needs of victims. For example, we are able to best respond to specific needs by utilizing interpreters, employing specialized advocates and claims specialists, service dogs, and child interview centers.
Crime doesn’t discriminate.
We know that anyone can be affected by crime, and we are committed to helping all victims through this process and beyond.
HOW WE HELP VICTIMS OF CRIME
We invest our resources to ensure we provide the highest quality of service to victims of crime.
Here are just some of the services we offer:
- Crisis intervention
- Emergency assistance
- Orientation to the criminal justice system
- Referrals to other support agencies
- Court support and escort
- Case status updates
- Property return
- Claims assistance
- Restitution assistance
- Employer intervention
- Assistance with the Victim Impact Statement
Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC)
Envisioned and founded by the Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley
Opened in 2005, the Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC) provides effective and comprehensive services in a collaborative and coordinated way. The center provides resources, response, engagement, and empowerment to victims of interpersonal violence.
It is a unique center that co-locates professionals who work together to provide support, health, and legal services, with the goal of physical and psychological safety, recovery, and well-being.
The ACFJC is a division of the DA’s Office with 25 onsite and 60 offsite public and non-profit agencies and programs for individuals and families experiencing domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault and exploitation, child abuse, child abduction, elder and dependent adult abuse, and human trafficking.
We serve all: ACFJC clients are representative of our diverse county
Alameda County is the 4th most diverse county in the United States and the ACFJC helps victims of crime from all walks of life. The ACFJC offers hope of a future free from violence.
Various languages are spoken by the clients who come through the door, and 44% of those are monolingual Spanish speakers. We tailor and deliver services that address everyone’s needs.
The ACFJC is a National Training Center, teaching other communities how to best serve victims of crime using a collaborative public health model.
In 2015, the ACFJC was honored by the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women for being a model of eective, comprehensive, and collaborative care. We were featured as one of the 20 programs across the United States demonstrating the success of the 20 years of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
The ACFJC pioneered the Navigator program that establishes one-on-one contact for victims when they first arrive at the Center. Navigators assess the victims’ emergency needs, help develop a safety plan, and connect them to other service providers they require (such as housing and legal assistance). Our navigators stay with victims, guiding them through this process to ensure they feel heard, empowered and safe.
Recently, the ACFJC was designated a Trauma Recovery Center (TRC) by the State of California and received grant funding to provide trauma services onsite. We partner with La Familia Counseling Services to provide mental health treatment and case management for victims who have experience trauma as a result of interpersonal violence.
Additionally, the ACFJC run assistance and empowerment programs including:
Women’s Empowerment Programs consists of STEP-UP (Survivor Training and Empowering – Utilizing your Potential), STEP-UP 2 WORK, and STEP THROUGH. The programs empower women with the personal, professional, and financial skills to rebuild their lives to ultimately break the cycle of violence.
Youth Empowerment Programs offer a safe, violence-free and nurturing environment for children of all ages in Alameda County who are victims of interpersonal violence, or whose parents/guardians are victims of interpersonal violence. Some of these programs include KidZone, Natalie’s Nook Reading and Learning Center, Homework Help, Children’s Arts Program, and 123Read.
Camp Hope: This is a week-long sleep away camp that provides children who are victims of family violence the opportunity to build relationships with other children who share similar experiences, and to provide them with a safe, fun, and engaging camping experience so they can just be children.
Some of our reading programs include:
PULSE (Pop Up Library Services for Everyone): As a branch of the Alameda County Library, the ACFJC offers PULSE, a vending machine containing library books for adults and children in English and Spanish.
123Read is a literacy program developed by the Alameda County Family Justice Center to impact the lives of children, aged 0-5 years, who have experienced trauma. The program helps to provide social and academic empowerment, and teaches caregivers the importance and benefits of early childhood education.
We have navigators who can help you with these services:
- Case Management
- Crisis Intervention
- Emergency Shelter Referral
- Counseling for Adults and Children
- Housing Assistance
- Legal and Immigration Advice
- Children’s Programs
- Empowerment Programs
- Trauma Recovery Services
- Law Enforcement Assistance
STEP-UP & Trauma Recovery Programs
- Professional Development
- Financial Literacy
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Computer Basics
- Job Search
- Interview Techniques
- General Education Degree (GED)
- Computer Coding Classes
- Entrepreneurship Program
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Job Placement Program
The Trauma Recovery Center (TRC) at the Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC) is designed to provide mental health treatment and case management for victims who have experienced trauma as a result of interpersonal violence. The TRC team collaborates its efforts to provide the following service: individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, trauma training and information, coordination of services with TRC Team, case management, mental health assessments, therapy referrals, victims of crimes applications, safety and service plans, and orientation to the criminal justice system.