Victim Service Unit

Bessemer Division

Victim Services Unit of the District Attorney’s Bessemer Divisions Office provides victims with support before, during, and after their cases are being processed through the judicial system. The unit provides information, forms, and affidavits that make it possible for victims to seek restitution. This unit is the voice for victims in the judicial system. 

A priority of this unit is to provide personal assistance to individuals who are victims of crime. If you are a victim of a crime, you can begin the healing process by contacting the Victim Services Unit.

Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights

In January 1996, the State of Alabama enacted the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. These rights, found in Article 3, Sections 15-23-60 through 15-23-84 of the Code of Alabama, 1975, define certain rights granted to victims of crime.  

Within 72 hours after a victim files a crime report, the assisting local law enforcement officer shall provide the victim with the following:

  • List of local emergency and crisis services
  • Name and phone number of the officer and the agency handling your report
  • Name and phone number of the prosecuting attorney
  • Procedure for a criminal prosecution
  • Information about victims’ compensation benefits
  • List of your rights as a victim including a form to insure you are given your rights
  • Information about restitution and compensation procedure for safety if you are subject to threats or intimidation as a victim sentence.

A crime victim also has a right to:

  • Notification of all criminal proceedings and charges filed against the defendant, with the exception of initial appearance, and the right to be present at all proceedings
  • Necessary information regarding the appropriate agencies from which you may request information
  • Explanation of the pre-sentence report and the right to make a written or oral statement to the probation officer, and a right to review the pre-sentence report
  • Notification of the time and place of any sentencing hearing and to make a written or oral statement, or present any information at a sentencing proceeding or any other proceeding as authorized by law
  • Information regarding the return of any property taken
  • Notification of the date of conviction, acquittal or dismissal of charges against the defendant and the sentence imposed
  • Refusal of an interview or other communication with the defendant, his attorney or anyone acting on his behalf
  • Status and results of any post-conviction appeal
  • Provision of a waiting area separates from the defendant, his relatives and defense witnesses if available and practical
  • Submission of a statement to be entered into the inmate’s records and to be notified of release, bond, prison, escape, re-arrest, or death of prisoner
  • Information regarding collection of restitution
  • Release of opinion by the Alabama Department of Mental Health
  • Notification of any Pardon and Parole Board hearings and the right to be present and heard at such hearings


If you have been a victim of crime within the Bessemer Cutoff jurisdiction and would like to inquire about the status of your case, have questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact our Victim Service Officers at (205) 497-8610.

Victim Services Officers (VSO)

Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Bessemer Cutoff Division, has three Victim Service Officers (VSO) to assist victims of crime. These positions exist to offer proper notifications and guidance throughout the criminal justice process and to make sure that victims are aware of their rights. 

Their duties include:

  • Contacting victims with court dates and case updates;
  • Referring victims to available community resources;
  • Providing emotional support in hearings and during trials/pleas;
  • Advising victims of their right to apply for compensation through Alabama Crime Victim Compensation Commission (ACVCC);
  • Providing victims with information regarding restitution and return of property;
  • Serving as liaison between law enforcement and victims; and serving as liaison between victims and prosecutors.