Victim Services

Victims of crime have rights that are guaranteed by the Colorado State Constitution. Assisting victims in understanding and exercising these rights is a priority for Division of Youth Services (DYS) staff. In addition to feeling victimized as a result of criminal activity, individuals, their families and communities can also feel victimized by the legal system. For this reason, DYS works to ensure that victims of crimes perpetrated by youth in DYS custody are treated with fairness and compassion throughout the various stages of the criminal justice process.

Victim Services staff work to address the diverse needs of victims in an attempt to reduce the potential for re-victimization. In support of these goals, DYS staff:

  • Uphold the rights of crime victims to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity
  • Work to ensure that victims are heard, informed and present for critical stages in the criminal justice system
  • Promote the safety and restoration of victims and communities to the degree possible

DYS staff provide a variety of services and information to victims of crime that include:

  • Victim Notification (VNOT) program enrollment, Critical Stage notification
  • Options for various restorative opportunities
  • Restitution Inquiries
  • Juvenile justice system and DYS inquiries
  • Inquiries regarding the statutory rights of victims as outlined in the Colorado Victim Rights
  • Amendment and enabling legislation
  • Referrals for additional support services, or any other topics related to the victim’s case
  • Aid in applying for Crime Victim Compensation funds
  • Aid in preparation of a Crime Victim Input Form

The Victim Services/Restorative Justice Coordinator also provides training for DYS staff regarding DYS responsibilities under the Victim Rights Act, the impact of crime on victims and Victim Empathy Class facilitator training.

Download Victim and Restorative Community Justice Forms on the Forms page.

Victim & Offender Dialogue Program

Victim offender dialogue (VOD) is a victim centered, confidential, face-to-face meeting between a victim/survivor and the juvenile offender of a severe or violent crime. The goal is for the victim/survivor to be heard and to get answers to questions only the juvenile can know. The experience of talking directly with the juvenile in a safe setting gives the victim/survivor full voice to the pain and trauma they have experienced. They are finally able to say what needs to be said.

When juvenile offenders are able to listen and understand the complexity of feelings about the harm they caused and take full responsibility, they can better understand the devastating effects of their actions. As a result, some will try to make a new and meaningful purpose in their lives. The process is not about forgiveness or reconciliation, although sometimes that occurs.