VICTIM AND WITNESS ASSISTANCE
|Publication Date:||9 September 2020|
In accordance with the authority in DoD Directive (DoDD) 5124.02, this issuance:
• Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures to assist victims and witnesses of alleged crimes committed in violation of Chapter 47 of Title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.), also known and referred to in this instruction as the "Uniform Code of Military Justice" (UCMJ).
• Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for:
o The rights of crime victims under the UCMJ and required mechanisms for enforcement, in accordance with Section 1701 of Public Law 113-66 and in accordance with DoD standards for victim witness assistance services in the military community established in DoD Instruction (DoDI) 6400.07.
o Providing timely notification of information and assistance available to victims and witnesses of crime from initial contact through investigation, prosecution, and confinement in accordance with Sections 1512 through 1514 of Title 18, U.S.C.; Parts 286 and 111 of Title 32, Code of Federal Regulations; DoDI 1325.07; DoDD 7050.06; Sections 113, 1034, 1059, and 1408 of Title 10, U.S.C.; and Section 1706 of Public Law 113-66.
o Annual reporting requirements on assistance provided across the DoD to victims and witnesses of alleged crimes.
• Provides for legal assistance for crime victims entitled to such services pursuant to Sections 1044 and 1044e of Title 10, U.S.C., and in accordance with the October 17, 2011 Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)) Memorandum and Section 1565b of Title 10, U.S.C., and as further prescribed by the Military Departments and National Guard Bureau policies.
• Incorporates Section 573 of Public Law 112-239, requiring each Military Service to establish a special victim capability comprised of specially trained criminal investigators, judge advocates, paralegals, and victim and witness assistance personnel to support victims of covered special victim offenses. To de-conflict with victims' counsel programs, this distinct group of recognizable professionals will be referred to, at the DoD level, as the Special Victim Investigation and Prosecution (SVIP) capability.
• Incorporates the victim and witness portion of the special victim capability in accordance with DoDI 5505.19.
• Incorporates Section 1716 of Public Law 113-66 and Section 533 of Public Law 113-291, requiring the Military Services to provide legal counsel, known as Special Victims' Counsel or Victims' Legal Counsel (SVC/VLC), to assist victims of alleged sex-related offenses in violation of Articles 120, 120a, 120b, 120c, 125 (before January 1, 2019) of the UCMJ, and attempts to commit any of these offenses under Article 80 of the UCMJ, who are eligible for legal assistance in accordance with Sections 1044 and 1044e of Title 10, U.S.C., and as further prescribed by the Military Departments' and National Guard Bureau policies.