The Witness Aid Services Unit provides a variety of court-related services, social services, and counseling services designed to meet the needs of crime victims, witnesses, and their families. The unit also provides information related to the prosecution of the case, assists victims in understanding the criminal justice system, and provides information regarding crime victims’ rights.
The unit assists victims in overcoming the emotional trauma resulting from victimization and provides advocacy and support throughout the criminal justice process. The unit also works collaboratively with assistant district attorneys to assist victims.
The unit has a staff of 31 and is comprised of four departments. Spanish speaking staff is available in each of the departments. Interpreters for other languages, including American Sign Language, are also available. All services offered by the unit are free of charge.
For the convenience of victims, the Witness Aid Services Unit provides services in the New York County District Attorney’s downtown and Northern Manhattan offices (Counseling and Social Services Departments only). The Witness Aid Services Unit can be reached at 212-335-9040.
The Social Services Department conducts interviews with victims, witnesses, and their families to assess their social, emotional, and financial needs. Based on this assessment, the social services staff provides direct services as well as advocacy and referral information.
The services provided by this Department include:
- Crisis intervention and support
- Assistance with safety services
- Referrals to shelters
- Accompaniment to court
- Specialized assistance for child victims
- Advocacy for government entitlements
- Advocacy and referrals to community agencies
- Compensation assistance through the New York State Office of Victim Services.
The Social Services Department is located in both the District Attorney’s downtown and Northern Manhattan Offices. To learn more about these and other services, call the Social Services Department at 212-335-9040 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.