Polk County Criminal District Attorney
William Lee Hon



In 1997, the Polk County Criminal District Attorney's Office formally established the Victim Witness Program to address the needs of people directly affected by crime in Polk County.  Megan Knighton and Julie Ruiz serve as the Victim Assistant Coordinators. The program educates crime victims about the criminal justice process and provides information about the social service agencies that can best handle their particular needs.

Services are available to victims of sexual assault, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, or cases involving serious bodily injury and to relatives of deceased victims. The program is also available to victims in applicable misdemeanor cases.

Upon indictment of a felony case, or acceptance of an applicable misdemeanor case by the District Attorney's Office, the Victim/Witness Assistance Division sends a contact letter to the crime victim. The letter contains informational brochures, victim impact statements for the victim to complete, and applications for Crime Victim's Compensation.

Victims are encouraged to keep in contact with the Crime Victim's Coordinators. The coordinators can provide the victims with docket dates, jail status, case disposition, information about available social services and agencies, and assistance in completing the Crime Victim's Compensation application and the Victim Impact Statement, and help to understand courtroom procedure and policies. The coordinators also provide courtroom accompaniment as needed during court proceedings. Other agencies, such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), CASA and SAAFE House may provide court accompaniment as well. The Victim/Witness Assistance Division provides a comfortable waiting area, away from the courts and media, where victims and/or their families can relax and feel secure during trials.

The Victim/Witness Assistance Division provides an established place where victims can turn in their search for justice and understanding. By devoting significant resources to crime victims, the District Attorney's Office seeks to make their journey through the criminal justice system as comforting as possible, representing their interests and helping to protect their rights.