The mission of the Victim Witness Program of Sullivan County is to educate, support, and aid victims and witnesses of crime as they move through the criminal justice process. It is our goal to inform victims of their rights, to advocate for enforcement of these rights, and to coordinate with community agencies to ensure the continuation of support for victims once their case has been resolved in the court system.
Our victim witness coordinators strive to make victims aware of their constitutional right to be present and to participate in the prosecution of their case, and to keep them informed regarding case information, court procedures, and final disposition. They provide information about available victim service programs and community resources that can help victims plan for their continued safety and a better quality of life following the disposition of their cases.
Victim witness services are available to all victims of crime in Sullivan County regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. We have coordinators working in each of our Criminal and General Sessions Courts located in Blountville, Bristol, and Kingsport.
Tennessee Constitution, Article I, §35:
To preserve and protect the rights of victims of crime to justice and due process, victims shall be entitled to the following basic rights:
- The right to confer with the prosecution.
- The right to be free from intimidation, harassment and abuse throughout the criminal justice system.
- The right to be present at all proceedings where the defendant has the right to be present.
- The right to be heard, when relevant, at all critical stages of the criminal justice process as defined by the General Assembly.
- The right to be informed of all proceedings, and of the release, transfer or escape of the accused or convicted person.
- The right to a speedy trial or disposition and a prompt and final conclusion of the case after the conviction or sentence.
- The right to restitution from the offender.
- The right to be informed of each of the rights established for victims.
The general assembly has the authority to enact substantive and procedural laws to define, implement, preserve, and protect the rights guaranteed to victims by this section.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund was established as a fund of last resort to financially assist innocent victims of violent crime in Tennessee that results in personal injury.