History of KCCVAP
In October 1991, the Kit Carson County Sheriff’s Office initiated a Victim’s Advocacy Program. This came as a response to the concern for victims, their needs, and their rights. The program began by utilizing volunteers from the county. Victim Assistance reaches to victims of violent crimes, domestic violence, sexual assault, survivors of homicides and suicides and victims of other crises and trauma. A part-time director was hired with funds from “Victims of Crime Act” (V.O.C.A.), a federal grant, and the program was supplemented with funds from the State Local Victims Assistance and Law Enforcement Board (V.A.L.E.). The program is staffed by trained volunteer advocates. The advocates assist the Sheriff’s Office, Burlington Police Department, Stratton Marshal’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, and the District Attorney’s Office.
Services Provided by KCCVAP
Victim Assistance Program is a specialized service unit in Kit Carson County Sheriff’s Office that advocates for the needs of victims and witnesses of crimes and critical incidents. While all department members are expected to be knowledgeable and demonstrate their skills in relating to persons in crisis, the staff and volunteers of the Victim Assistance Program focus more specifically on providing direct service and therefore are afforded more time, resources, and special training. Services provided by the Victim Assistance Program include:
Supportive services and advocacy to victims affirming their right to receive respectful treatment and receipt of their rights by law.
Information regarding victimization and emotional responses to trauma.
Information regarding status of the case.
Information about the criminal justice process and restraining orders.
Referrals to police officers or outside agencies to address violations of law.
Information regarding community resources, victim compensation, and assistance programs.
Coordination of victim rights and training needs for department members.
What is the definition of Victim?
"Victim" means any natural person against whom any crime has been perpetrated or attempted, unless the person is accountable for the crime or a crime arising from the same conduct, criminal episode, or plan as crime is defined under the laws of this state or of the United States, or, if such person is deceased or incapacitated, the person's spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, significant other, or other lawful representative. Any person under the age of eighteen years is considered incapacitated, unless that person is legally emancipated. It is the intent of the general assembly that this definition of the term "victim" shall apply only to the Victim Rights Act and shall not be applied to any other provision of the laws of the state of Colorado that refer to the term "victim".
Victim Rights Act
The Victim Rights Act: 24-4.1-101 through 24-4.1-304
In November 1992, the voters of Colorado passed a resolution to include Victim Rights as a part of the State's Constitution.
Crimes that are covered by the Victim Rights Act (VRA)
Murder, Manslaughter, Homicide
Vehicular Assault, Vehicular Homicide, Careless Driving Resulting in Death, Hit & Run Resulting in Death
Sexual Assault on an Adult or Child
Sexual Exploitation of Children
First Degree Burglary
Human Trafficking in Adults or Children
Crimes involving Child Prostitution
Coercion of Involuntary Servitude
Retaliation against a Judge or Juror
Crimes Against an At Risk Person
Crimes involving Domestic Violence
Bias Motivated Crimes
Retaliation Against a Witness or Victim
Tampering with a Witness or Victim
Intimidation of a Witness or Victim
Violation of a Protection Order on Sexual Assault Cases
Victim Rights Act also includes any criminal attempt, conspiracy, criminal solicitation or accessory involving any of the crimes listed above.
Your Rights as a victim of a VRA crime:
To be informed of and present for all critical stages of the criminal justice process.
To be present and heard in court regarding any bond reduction, continuance, acceptance of plea negotiations, case disposition, or sentencing.
To consult with the Deputy District Attorney before the case is resolved or goes to trial and to be informed of how it is resolved.
To prepare a Victim Impact Statement and to be present and to be heard at sentencing.
To be informed of the status of your case and any scheduling changes or cancellations if known in advance.
The right to have the restitution determined by the Court.
To be informed of post-conviction release or modification hearings.
To get your property back when it is no longer needed for prosecution as evidence.
To be informed of the availability of financial assistance and community services.
To be given appropriate employer intercession services regarding court appearances and meetings with criminal justice officials.
To be assured that in any criminal preceding the court, the prosecutor and other law enforcement officials will take appropriate action to achieve a swift and fair resolution of the proceedings.
Kit Carson County Mission Statement
The Kit Carson County Victim Assistance Program is a dedicated team of advocates working to support and assist victims of crime and violence, to provide direct services by acting with integrity, treating all victims and survivors of crime with dignity and compassion and to advocate fair standards of justice.
Lisa Belden MSW