This week is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and counties in the East say they are committed to protecting the rights of crime victims.
District Attorney Scott Thomas oversees Carteret, Craven and Pamlico Counties.
He said this week is a time for law enforcement, prosecutors, and advocates to come together and observe victims’ rights.
He said it is important for victims to know of their rights to be notified of court hearings, provide victim impact statements, receive restitution and more.
“Many people who end up being crime victims have really never been involved in the criminal justice system before,” Thomas said. “It is important for them to be aware that in the event that they become a victim of a crime or a family member becomes a victim of a crime, there are resources and folks out there to help.”
With the recent passing of Marsy’s Law in November, Thomas said district attorneys statewide have a proposal before the legislature to get additional resources to fully implement the Crime Victims Amendment.
“The legislature assured us when they put Marsy’s Law on the ballot, they would follow that up with resources for the district attorneys in terms of assistant DAs and legal assistance so we could actually implement Marsy’s Law.”
He said district attorneys have formally requested those positions.
He said they are hopeful that following the budget, they will have adequate personnel in place to further support crime victims in North Carolina.
For those seeking assistance, Thomas said people can visit the North Carolina Department of Justice website.
People can also register with SAVAN, which keeps victims advised of the custody status of their offender.