Programs & Services

The District Attorney sponsors a number of programs designed to assist citizens residing in and around Allegheny County, as well as assist community-based crime prevention initiatives and law enforcement agencies.

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)

The Pennsylvania Legislature has provided by statute that first time driving under the influence offenders may be referred for an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition which allows the defendant an opportunity to have the charges removed from his/her public Criminal History Record (a “rap-sheet”) after successful completion of a required period of probation and participation in appropriate safe driving and alcohol counseling programs. Other types of crimes may be allowed into ARD as well. The Allegheny County District Attorney has established policies governing the types of crimes that the office will recommend to the court for admission into the ARD program. The District Attorney has the discretion to deny eligibility into the ARD program.

Project LifeSaver

PROJECT LIFESAVER is a program offered by law enforcement and other emergency responders in 41 states, using proven radio technology and specially trained search and rescue teams, to find citizens enrolled in the program when they become lost.

  • Do you have a loved one who wanders away from your residence?
  • Have you had to call 911 when a loved one cannot be found?
  • Do you know a loved one who often “escapes” from home?

If you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may wish to enroll in Project LifeSaver. For additional information please visit our Project LifeSaver page.

Restitution

Restitution is money paid by the person who committed a crime to the victim. It may pay for bills from the doctor, hospital, dentist, or counseling. It may also pay for medicine, funeral costs, or things that were broken or stolen during a crime. It is usually available only after the person who committed a crime has been sentenced. Victims must keep all of their bills and receipts for items or services that they had to pay for resulting from the crime.

Rights of Victims

Being a victim of crime can be very stressful and confusing. Although people who commit crimes have rights under the law, victims also have rights. In fact, in 1998 the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted the Crime Victims Act to ensure that crime victims are treated with dignity and respect and that certain specific rights are afforded to them. To learn about victims’ rights, please contact The Center for Victims of Violence and Crime:

24 Hour Helpline: (412) 392-8582 or
Toll Free: (866) 644-CVVC (2882)
www.cvvc.org

Special Needs Registry

The Special Needs Registry is a volunteer registry of information by those with a mental or physical disability that would be helpful for emergency personnel to know when responding to a crisis.

For additional information please visit http://www.alleghenycounty.us/emergency-services/911/special-needs-registry.aspx.

The Phoenix Docket Case Management System

The Phoenix Docket Case Management System is an Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas program which, for certain types of cases, provides defendants with the opportunity to enter an expedited plea. The Phoenix Docket Unit (PDU) of the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office handles those cases which fit the Court’s parameters. PDU Assistant District Attorneys determine appropriate plea offers for those cases. Defendants receive their plea offers and additional case information at the formal arraignment stage of the criminal justice process and schedule a Phoenix Docket Conference. At the Phoenix Docket Conference, the defendant has the option to accept the plea offer, plead with no agreement, or schedule the case for trial.

Victims Compensation Assistance Program

This program may be able to help by paying you back for money you had to pay or lost because of a crime. Compensation may be paid to you or others for medical expenses, counseling, loss of earnings, loss of support, funeral expenses, travel costs, homecare/childcare, stolen benefit cash, relocation, the costs to clean up a crime-scene and other expenses.

The best way to file a claim is with the help of The Center for Victims of Violence and Crime. They will see if you are eligible and will help you file a claim at the numbers listed above OR:

Call the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Victims Compensation Assistance Program at (800) 233-2339. There is no cost to file a claim.

Witness Relocation and Protection

The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police established the witness relocation and protection program in 1994. It is a program that provides temporary security to material witnesses/victims testifying against criminals that commit violent crimes. If a threat of harm exists, trained Pittsburgh police officers will take measures to protect victims, witnesses and their families. Contact the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police at (412) 323-7843.