It is the duty of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney to seek justice in all cases. It is also our responsibility to preserve and defend the rights of crime victims. Upon becoming Prosecuting Attorney in 1989, my first order of business was to establish a Victim Assistance Program. Its mission remains a simple one: to help guide crime victims through the criminal justice system, seeking their input and keeping them informed of the status of their cases; to aggressively pursue restitution and Victims Compensation for crime victims; and to assist crime victims in obtaining help from social service agencies.
With the assistance of Prosecutors around the state, the Indiana Legislature has recently enacted several laws relating to the rights of crime victims. In 1996, an Amendment to the Indiana Constitution was ratified by a statewide referendum, requiring victims of crime "to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect throughout the criminal justice process." I strongly supported the efforts of Indiana Attorney General Pam Carter in making this Amendment a reality. In my view, it has been long overdue.
It is impossible to expect crime victims to negotiate the complex maze of the criminal justice system without help. Victim advocates who are knowledgeable about the legal system, and who understand the dynamics of victimization, must be available to give assistance. Through the Victim Assistance Program and the Domestic Violence Unit of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney, help and information is available. Only with the aid of these dedicated professionals can true justice and healing be accomplished. We are proud to assist in making these important services available to the citizens of Clark County.
Carmen Croudep is the Director of the Victim Assistance Program following the retirement of long-time Victim Advocate Darlene Coleman. All victims and witnesses are encouraged to ask questions and to ask for help from the Victim Assistance Program.
Steven D. Stewart|