The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission neutrally investigates post-conviction claims of factual innocence. The Commission does not represent the convicted person making the claim of innocence, but rather seeks to uncover the complete truth of the original crime. Facing the possible discovery of a wrongful conviction, however, can have an immense impact on the victim(s) of the crime and their loved ones. The investigation may bring reminders of the pain the crime caused and may lead to feelings of betrayal and confusion around the original conviction. The experience of revisiting the crime and engaging with the Commission’s process will be different for every person. The victim and their loved ones can decide how much or how little they would like to engage with the Commission process, and resources are available to support those decisions.
Writing a Victim Impact Statement
Download this resource to learn more about delivering a Victim Impact Statement at a Commission hearing.
Understanding Forensic DNA
Download this resource to learn about forensic DNA and how the Commission uses forensic DNA as a tool for investigation.
A News Media Guide for Victims & Survivors of Crime
Download this resource to prepare for media attention that may be generated by a Commission hearing.
Locating Trauma Informed Therapists
Download this resource to learn how to identify therapists who specifically serve people impacted by trauma.
Frequently Asked Questions
- The Victim Services Program strives to serve all those harmed by the crime. This includes the “primary victim,” the person most seriously harmed by the crime, as well as the victim’s loved ones and witnesses who were impacted by the crime. The Commission’s statute defines victim as “the victim of the crime, or if the victim of the crime is deceased, the next of kin of the victim,” however, the Victim Services Program interprets this broadly to ensure that services reach as many harmed people as possible.
The North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault
The North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault can connect victims, survivors, and their loved ones to rape crisis centers throughout the state. Rape crisis centers are private, nonprofit organizations committed to helping all members of the public. These centers provide free, confidential referrals and services for sexual assault victims, survivors and their close family and friends. Please visit https://nccasa.org/get-help/ to find a center.
The North Carolina Victim Assistance Network
The North Carolina Victim Assistance Network is a statewide nonprofit that provides information, support, and advocacy to victims of violent crimes and their loved ones. NC VAN holds monthly virtual and regional support groups for loved ones of homicide victims. If you would like to be connected to a support group, please visit: https://www.nc-van.org/support-groups
Contact Victim Services
If your organization is interested in receiving training on implementing post-conviction victim services and understanding the impact of post-conviction case activity and innocence investigations on victims of crime, please contact us.
Visit our Contact page