Wise County & City of Norton Commonwealth Attorney's Office
Commonwealth Attorney

Victim/Witness Program

Joni Perry Coleman

Joni Perry Coleman
Victim/Witness Program Coordinator

Joni Perry Coleman grew up in Wise County. She graduated from Coeburn High School, the University of Virginia's College at Wise with a B.S. in Psychology, and from Liberty University with a M.A. in counseling. She currently serves on the Governing Body of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance as well as the Concerned About Our Community Coalition. She has over 10 years experience in the victim's services field.

The Victim Witness Assistance Program, administered by the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, helps to ensure that victims and witnesses of crime receive fair, compassionate, and trauma-informed services throughout their participation in the criminal justice system. Staff is available to help you deal with the complexities of the criminal justice system and to support you throughout the process.

Often the criminal justice process is long and complex. It is our pleasure to help ensure that your needs are met during this process. We are able to assist provide emotional support, crisis counseling, advocacy, and referrals to local agencies.

As the victim of a crime, you may be entitled to information about:
• Your rights and local agencies and programs that can provide information and assistance
• Protection and protective orders
• Financial assistance and social services, including the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (crime victims’ compensation)
• Address and telephone number confidentiality
• Closed preliminary hearings or use of closed-circuit television, under limited circumstances
• Separate waiting areas during court proceedings
• The right to remain in the courtroom during a criminal trial or proceeding
• The right to consult the commonwealth’s attorney regarding proposed plea agreements and plea negotiations in felony cases
• The law (40.1-287:2) requiring employers to allow employees who are crime victims leave from work to attend criminal proceedings

Our program can assist you in obtaining protection and protective orders, obtaining property held by law enforcement agencies, receiving intercession services with your employer, obtaining advanced notice of court proceedings, receiving the services of an interpreter, preparing a Victim Impact Statement in felony cases, and seeking restitution.

We are able to notify you of changes in court dates, changes in the status of the defendant (if he/she is being held in a jail or correctional facility), the opportunity to prepare a written impact statement prior to sentencing of a defendant in felony cases, the filing and disposition of any appeals/habeas corpus proceedings involving the defendant, and case disposition, defendant appeal rights, and restitution information.

As a witness to a crime, you may be entitled to information about:
• Your rights and available protection
• Address and telephone number confidentiality
• Separate waiting area during court proceedings

Our program can assist you in obtaining protection, receiving intercession services with your employer, and receiving the services of an interpreter.

The Victim Witness Assistance Program can be reached by calling (276) 328-4377 or (276) 328-4421. The Program can be reached after hours by calling Wise County Sheriff’s Office Central Dispatch. You may also stop by our office in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office during business hours to speak to an Advocate face to face.