The St. Bernard Parish District Attorney had a ribbon cutting on June 30th of its newly opened Victim Assistance Center. The center is located on the corner of Packenham Drive and St. Bernard Highway. The center is funded by a federal grant aimed at providing a location away from the courthouse for juveniles and victims of crime to have their needs met as they recover from the crime and seek assistance through the criminal court system. The St. Bernard District Attorney’s Victim Assistance Center provides assistance for victims, their family members and/or significant others to all criminal and juvenile justice procedures, and is available as a resource as their cases proceed to trial.
In St. Bernard Parish, the District Attorney’s Office does not want victims of crime to be forgotten. The Office of the District Attorney has made a commitment to all victims to give them a voice in the courtroom as allowed by law. The Victim Assistance Center is one more step in providing comprehensive services for individuals and juveniles who are victims of crime, with specialized services for those who are impacted by violent crime. The primary goals of the program are to assist with victims’ rights by providing assistance in the immediate aftermath of crime, providing on-going support to alleviate the trauma associated with crime, and easing the process of participation in the criminal justice system.
The center will have referral community resource assistance, including assistance provided by the battered women’s shelter. Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers will also have use of the center to help meet their needs in providing needed services. Bi-lingual staff is available to work with Spanish speaking clients.