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U.S. Attorney's Victim Witness Program, District of Arizona

2003 Federal Service Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

U.S. Attorney's Victim Witness Program, District of Arizona | Federal Service Award
Team Members: Dori Arter; Mary-Anne Estrada; Jennifer Westenhaver; Betti Delrow; Marlene Beall; Susan Butler; Marc Tetzlaff; Eydie Robertson
Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona

The combined efforts of the Victim Witness Program staff in the District of Arizona has resulted in enhanced services to federal crime victims and improved victim notification. In 2002, the Victim Witness staff handled approximately 500 cases with 2,613 victims and provided 3,104 victim notifications. 

With 75 percent of the state of Arizona under federal jurisdiction, the U.S. Attorney's Office is responsible for prosecuting the majority of violent crimes in the state, including those that occur in the national parks, national forests, and on Arizona's 21 Indian reservations. The 370 miles of border between Arizona and Mexico also create unique challenges and responsibilities for the Victim Witness staff. 

These large geographic areas require victim contact either by telephone or by traveling long distances to provide personal notification to victims who otherwise would go unserved. Staff are also responsible for public education, public awareness, and technical assistance surrounding victims' issues, particularly as it relates to crime in Indian Country, violence against women, and child protection. 

The Victim Witness staff handled a notable case involving a mother who killed three of her six children in January 2002. The Victim Witness staff intervened with family members on the scene. In preparation for the trial, the staff traveled 100 miles to Prescott, Arizona, and interviewed 35 witnesses for pretrial conferences and testimony preparation.