Office of the Prosecuting Attorney
Being a victim of a crime can be a very difficult time for most people. The Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office provides the opportunity for crime victims to express their concerns, problems and offer help. Victim/Witness Assistance may be contacted at 269-383-8677.
Our services include:
- Special advocates for victims of domestic violence.
- Providing information and help in filing for Michigan Crime Victim Compensation.
- Helping with emergency services such as food, shelter and clothing.
- Making referrals to other community agencies for additional help.
- Giving information on how the court works and case status.
- Accompanying a victim to court, upon their request.
- Providing and assisting with Victim Impact Statements.
- Helping with the return of the victim's personal property.
- Providing information and assistance in obtaining restitution.
- Informing the community about victim's rights.
Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) Grant
The Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office would like to announce that we have received Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) funding for one full-time Victim Advocate Specialist. We have received this grant for over twenty (20) years.
The Victim Advocate Specialist position was established in 1986 to provide comprehensive services to the victims of domestic violence in Kalamazoo County. The overall goal is to work with the law enforcement agencies and other victim agencies in Kalamazoo County to provide complete information and on-going advocacy to the victims of crime. The Constitutional rights guaranteed to crime victims that are protected by the Victim Advocate Specialist position include:
- The right to notification of court proceedings.
- The right to confer with the prosecution.
- The right to make a statement to the court at sentencing.
- The right to information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, and release of the accused.
- The right to attend trial and all other court proceedings the accused has the right to attend.
- The right to restitution.
- The right to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process.
- The right to timely disposition of the case following arrest of the accused.
- The right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice system.
The specific duties of the Victim Advocate Specialist go beyond just enforcing the Constitutional rights of crime victims that have already been mentioned. The Victim Advocate Specialist also (1) responds to the emotional and physical needs of crime victims; (2) assists primary and secondary victims of crime to stabilize their lives after victimization; (3) assists victims to understand and participate in the criminal justice system; and (4) provides victims of crime with a measure of safety and security. Therefore, the VOCA grant funding not only supports the provision of our legal mandate, but also enables staff to assist victims to take back control of their lives and begin the process of healing. The Prosecutors Office continues to be committed to helping crime victims and victims rights are one of the highest priorities of our prosecution efforts.
The Victims of Violence Project is supported by a Crime Victim Assistance Grant awarded to the Kalamazoo County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney by the Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission, Michigan Department of Community Health. The grant award comes from the Federal Crime Victims Fund, established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984. The County of Kalamazoo provides the required match by an in-kind match of one Victim Advocate on staff. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Justice or the Michigan Department of Community Health.
Michelle Matson, Victim Advocate Specialist, is available Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and may be reached at 269-383-8958 or via email. The Project Director, Rhonda Baxter-Todd, can be reached at 269-383-8872 or via e-mail
Crime Victim Rights Grant
The federal Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) ushered in a new era in crime victim assistance in America. In response to findings and recommendations issued by the Presidents Task Force on Victims of Crime and the Attorney Generals Task Force on Violent Crime, VOCA established the first significant national program in support of crime victim services. Under VOCA, federal funding is available to every state to support crime victim assistance and compensation programs. Support for the Crime Victims Fund created by VOCA is derived from federal criminal fines and forfeitures.
For over 20 years, the Kalamazoo County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney has used various forms of grant funding to provide these mandated services to victims. This practice has permitted our local Kalamazoo County dollars to be used to fund other mandated services for which there is no grant funding available.
The Crime Victim Rights Project is supported by a Crime Victim Assistance Grant awarded to the Kalamazoo County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney by the Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission, Michigan Department of Community Health. The grant funds 2.5 FTE Victim Advocates. The focus of the program is to: Implement the requirements of the William Van Regenmorter Crime Victim Rights Act, P.A. 87 of 1985. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Justice or the Michigan Department of Community Health.