Mayor Brent Coles

Victim-Witness Program

The Boise Victim-Witness Program was initiated in 1990 to provide victims of violent crime with referral information, accompaniment during court proceedings, notification of court cases and crisis intervention. In addition, personnel assigned to the program help victims get restraining order (if necessary), understand the judicial process, facilitate victim/witness protection, custody notifications and intervene with schools, creditors and employers.

The program is staffed by two full-time victim/witness coordinators and one part-time clerical position. The program also employs volunteers to perform routine tasks. The unit is supervised by a sergeant who also manages the crime lab and other detectives in the Crimes Against Persons Unit.

The Police Department routinely examines conviction ratios, referral ratios, and recidivism rates as a measure for effectiveness of the Victim/Witness Program. Case load and the ratio of cases screened is another method used to measure effectiveness.

Boise Police Victim/Witness Coordinators have recently implemented a program by which a domestic violence questionnaire used to collect post-incident information from the victim. Upon arrival at a domestic violence scene, officers often find that the suspect has fled to another location to avoid detainment and possible prosecution. This questionnaire is used during a follow-up phone conversation to ascertain information regarding the victim's safety and to locate the suspect for possible incident arrest.

In addition, the police department, in cooperation with the Ada County Sheriff's Office and other municipal police agencies, has developed a Domestic Violence Protocol. The protocol applies to all elements of law enforcement that provide direct or indirect services to victims of domestic violence. Personnel affected by the protocol includes Ada County Dispatchers, all appropriate responding officers, prosecutors and victim service units.

The Boise Victim-Witness Program is city-funded and has an approximate annual budget of $114,600 which supports one police sergeant, two civilian victim/witness coordinators and one part-time clerical position. The program also utilizes the services of one to three volunteers at any given time.

CONTACT: Sgt. Tony Wallace, 6081 Clinton Street, Boise, ID 83704, Telephone - (208) 373-5400, Fax - (208) 376-1499.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

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