VICTIM/WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (VWAP)
Victim & Witness Coordinator
NAVCONBRIG Charleston Det Chesapeake
COMM: (757) 421-8826
Victims and witnesses have the right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity, privacy, and to be reasonably protected from the offender. The impact of crimes is devastating to innocent victims, witnesses, and their families.
When an offender is sentenced to confinement by a court-martial, trial counsel must inform the victims and prosecution witnesses of their notification rights by using a DD Form 2704, “Victim/Witness Certification and Election Concerning Prisoner Status.” The trial counsel is required to forward the DD Form 2704 to the confining brig at the same time the prisoner is brought to the brig in all cases where confinement is adjudged. Victims and witnesses are responsible for notifying the brig’s Victim & Witness Coordinator (VWC) of any subsequent change in their address or phone number.
The brig’s Victim and Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) applies to prisoners of all military services confined in this location. Navy policy is to enhance the role of victims and witnesses in the military criminal justice system and to ensure all victims and witness are treated with sensitivity, fairness, and respect. Identity or location data of a victim or witness shall not be disclosed to the prisoner or any third party at any time.
The brig’s VWC will make contact with victims and witnesses notifying them of changes in the prisoner’s status (initial confinement, clemency and parole hearings (if the prisoner is eligible), release dates, permanent transfer, etc.)
As provided for by Federal law, a crime victim has the right to:
Be Treated with fairness and respect for the victim's dignity and privacy
Be reasonably protected from the accused offender
Be notified of court proceedings
Be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, unless the court determines testimony by the victim would be materially affected if the victim heard other testimony at trial.
Confer with the attorney for the Government in the case
Receive available restitution
Be provided information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, and release of the offender
The Role of a Victim Witness Coordinator in Corrections
The brig’s VWC serves as the point of contact for all victim and prosecution witness assistance questions within NAVCONBRIG Charleston Det Chesapeake and is the subject matter expert on the program, services, laws, and policies.
Contact or Communication with Victims
Prisoners are advised that they are not to initiate contact with any victim or witness of their court-martial offense either directly or through a third party, without the permission of the victim. This prohibition includes contact via telephone calls, visits, or written correspondence. Prisoners desiring to communicate with victims may submit a chit requesting permission from the Commanding Officer. The VWC will find out from the victim(s)/witness(es) whether contact is desired. This applies whether or not the victim has elected to participate in this program. Even if the victim or witness desires contact, such approval is at the discretion of the Commanding Officer.
Occasionally, victims desire to express their thoughts to the prisoner about the losses (physical, financial, emotional) they have experienced as a result of the court-martial offense. They may do this by writing to the prisoner through the Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston Det Chesapeake Disposition Board. Upon receipt of these letters, the Disposition board will include for review and consideration in their recommendation for Clemency or Parole to the Service Clemency and Parole Board. In addition to submitting an impact statement to Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston Det Chesapeake Disposition Board, victims or witnesses may request to make a personal appearance (at their own expense) before the appropriate Service’s Clemency and Parole Boards. Other interested parties, such as representatives of the prisoner's former command, may send written comments to the Clemency and Parole Boards through the Parole/Release Manager who ensures all reviewing officials will have access to their statements. Such appearance does include the brig's Disposition Board, however, impact statements will be accepted, and are encouraged.
Information - Web Sites
The Department of the Navy understands the impact of crime and the devastation to innocent victims, witnesses and their families. We have provided some information links below to assist you:
U.S. Department of Justice / Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20531
U.S. Department of Justice Response Center
For a copy of "A Guide for Survivors and Their Families"
Contact the Department of Justice @ 1-202-514-7130
Know your RIGHTS as a Victim
"The Victims' Rights and Restitution Act"
Title 42 U.S.C. 10606, Sec. 502
To learn more about Sex Offender Laws and Statutes, visit The Library of Congress on the web, search for Public Law 109-248, Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act.