This document presents the 2012 Attorney Generals Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance.
These guidelines are for use by officers and employees of the U.S. Department of Justice investigative, prosecutorial, correctional, and parole components in the treatment of victims of and witnesses to crime. The core statutes underlying these guidelines are the Victims' Rights and Restitution Act (VRRA) and the Crime Victims' Rights Act (CVRA), but additional rights and requirements exist in other statutes and rules of criminal procedure. The Attorney General Guidelines are intended to serve as a model for guidelines on the fair treatment of crime victims and witnesses for other State and Federal law enforcement agencies. These guidelines are presented in seven articles: Article I: General Considerations and Article II: Guidelines Applicable to All Components deal with general policies affecting all components and victims; Article III: Who Is a Victim? contains the basic definitions of victims under both victims' services and rights laws, as well as sections on unique victim populations; Article IV: Mandatory Services covers the Justice Department's mandatory obligations to provide services to victims of crime under the VRRA; Article V: Victims' Rights Under the CVRA covers the CVRA provisions that victims of a charged offense can enforce during a prosecution; Article VI: Witnesses addresses witnesses only; and Article VII: Non-Litigability consists of the Justice Department's statement on non-litigability. The two appendixes contain the text of the VRRA and the CRVA.