About the Council for Court Excellence
Formed in the District of Columbia in 1982, the Council for Court Excellence (CCE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization that envisions a justice system in the District of Columbia that equitably serves its people and continues to be a model for creating stronger and more prosperous communities.
CCE’s mission is to enhance the justice system in the District of Columbia to serve the public equitably. CCE identifies and proposes solutions by collaborating with diverse stakeholders to conduct research, advance policy, educate the public, and increase civic engagement.
About the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants
The mission of the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG) is to develop, fund, and coordinate programs that improve public safety; enhance the administration of justice; and create systems of care for crime victims, youth, and their families in the District of Columbia. To accomplish its mission, OVSJG coordinates and funds community-based and District agency services for victims of crime and returning citizens. Additionally, OVSJG manages efforts that aim to reduce truancy in the District’s public and charter schools, and supports juvenile diversion, mentoring, and gang intervention efforts. OVSJG is the State-Administering Agency responsible for the direction of D.C.’s systemic criminal justice planning, coordination, management, research, training, and technical assistance. OVSJG also provides policy making expertise, advice, and counsel to the Executive Office of the Mayor on the role of victims and offenders in the criminal justice system, and evidence-based practices to respond to, intervene in, and prevent violence.
CCE thanks the following members of the project steering committee for giving their time and expertise to update the D.C. Victim’s Guide. An asterisk indicates the committee member is a CCE Board Director.
Gail Westover, Eversheds Sutherland *
Matthew Wright, Arent Fox *
Nikki Charles, Network for Victim Recovery of D.C.
Sarah Connell, D.C. Office of the Attorney General
Dawn Dalton, D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Audrey Eisemann, D.C. SAFE
Tyria Fields, Metropolitan Police Department
Richard Hoffman, Justice Strategies*
Sam Kaplan, Boies, Schiller & Flexner*
Geralyn Lawrence, Law Office of Geralyn Lawrence
Jeinine McClain, D.C. Office of the Attorney General
Sarah McClellan, U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C.
Bridgette Stumpf, Network for Victim Recovery of D.C.
This guide was produced by CCE under Grant Award Number 2017-CCE-01, awarded by the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, Executive Office of the Mayor, District of Columbia. The opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in this guide are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Executive Office of the Mayor.
Note from the Project Co-Chairs
The criminal justice process can be very difficult for District of Columbia crime victims to navigate, and it can also be overwhelming for victims to seek and secure resources available to assist them. To help assist D.C. crime victims with these issues, the Council for Court Excellence (CCE) first published the Victim’s Guide to the District of Columbia Justice System in 1988. To date, more than 100,000 copies of the Victim’s Guide have been distributed throughout D.C.
Thanks to a generous grant from the D.C. Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, we are pleased to present this fourth edition of the Victim’s Guide to the District of Columbia Justice System. This edition of the guide was updated and expanded by a steering committee of the CCE board directors and local victim services practitioners and experts. We would like to extend our thanks to them and the other community members and volunteers who contributed to this project.
This guide is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to serve as legal advice. If D.C. crime victims wish to consult with a lawyer to discuss their particular circumstances, they should contact the Victim Legal Network of D.C. at 202-629-1788 or online at vlndc.org. For any other questions a D.C. crime victim may have, assistance is available at 1(844) 4HELPDC, a 24-hour non-police hotline, or online at www.dcvictim.org.
We hope that the Victim’s Guide provides useful information to D.C. crime victims. If you have any questions about the guide, or would like to request additional copies of it, please contact the Council for Court Excellence at (202) 785-5917, or email the organization at email@example.com.
Gail Westover, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland
Matthew Wright, Partner, Arent Fox