certain court events, including information on bail, escape of offender, release of an offender
- Given the opportunity to provide prior comment on and to receive State post sentencing release decisions, including work release, furlough, parole, pardon or community treatment center placement;
- Provided immediate notice of an escape of the adult and of subsequent apprehension; and
- Given the opportunity to receive notice of and to provide prior comment on a recommendation sought by the Department of Corrections that the offender participate in a motivational boot camp pursuant to the Motivational Boot Camp Act.
Within the Parole Process you have the right to provide input to the decision makers in your case. This input can be provided in many ways:
- by sending in written comments,
- by calling into the OVA and provide oral comments over the phone to a Victim Assistance Coordinator
- you can schedule a time to provide comments to a hearing examiner.
- you can schedule a time to provide comments in-person to the Parole Board
In 2013, the law changed allowing for crime victims to physically come into the Parole Board and provide in-person testimony.
In order to schedule an in-person testimony you must:
a.) Be Registered with the OVA and
b.) Contact the OVA to schedule your testimony.
VICTIM'S RIGHTS PROVIDED IN OTHER PA LAWS
Victims may not be excluded from a homicide trial based on the fact that they may be providing testimony or an impact statement during the sentencing phase.(42
Pa. C.S. Section 9738).
Victims as Witnesses
to Offender Execution
Up to four victims have the right to be present at the
execution of an offender in their case, providing the victim has registered
with and been selected by the Victim Advocate, Office of the Victim Advocate
(61 Pa. C.S. Section 4305).
PA Board of Pardons
If registered with the Office of the Victim Advocate, a
victim has the right to be provided by the Board of Pardons (BOP) the
opportunity to offer prior oral or written comment on any application which has
been granted a hearing by the board pertaining to their case. The BOP shall
also provide notice of the date, time and place of any hearing pertaining to
their case. (71 P.S. 299(d))
Victims of Domestic
Violence, Sexual Violence and Protection from Abuse
Law enforcement agencies shall provide victims of domestic
violence and/or sexual violence the following information (23 Pa. C.S. 6105)
Oral and written notice of the availability of safe shelter
and of domestic violence /sexual assault services in the community, including
the hotline number of domestic violence/sexual assault services.
Written notice that they have the right to file a petition
with the court to request an order for protection from domestic abuse (18 Pa.
C.S. Section 2711(d).)
In a Protection from Abuse Order, the court may order the abuser to:
stop any further acts of abuse
leave the victim's household
stay away from the victim's home, school or
place of employment
pay support to the victim and any minor child
that the abuser owes a duty of support, and
the court may give temporary custody or
temporary visitation of minor children.
Law enforcement agencies must also provide victims of
domestic violence who are protected by a protection from abuse order
Notification of the arrest of the defendant for
violation of that order as soon as possible, unless the person cannot be
located, the notice shall be provided not more than 24 hours after preliminary
arraignment (23 Pa. C.S. 6105 (d)).
The person asking for a protection from abuse order cannot be charged any fees or
costs by the court (23 Pa. C.S. 6106(b)).
The court must provide forms and clerical assistance in
English and Spanish to help write and file the petition for a protection from
abuse order with the court if the person is not represented by a lawyer (23 Pa.
The court shall provide oral and written information, in
English and Spanish, about where the person asking for protection can get help
at the local domestic violence program, the local legal services office and the
county bar association's lawyer referral service (23 Pa. C.S. 6106(h).
Medical Release of an
Whenever a petition is filed for the medical release of a
seriously or terminally ill inmate from state prison or county jail, victims of
personal injury crimes committed by that inmate must be notified and given an
opportunity to be heard by the court on the petition. The victims must be
notified of the outcome of the court’s decision to grant or deny the petition
(42 Pa. C.S. 9777).
CRIME VICTIMS HAVE RIGHTS IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM
Act 86 of
2000, known as the "Bill of Rights" for Victims of Juvenile Crime
became effective on December 29th, 2000. Act 86 amended the Crime Victims Act
to expand the rights afforded to crime victims of adult offenders to be
applicable to victims of juvenile offenders involved in the Pennsylvania
Juvenile Justice System
of Juvenile Court Procedure further outline and clarify rules regarding notification
of actions and proceedings pertaining to a victim's case such as the date,
time, place, purpose and outcome of the proceeding. In general, The Rules of
Juvenile Court Procedure for Delinquency Matters have dispensed with offense
restrictions in extending notice and comment rights to victims of juvenile
1. To receive basic information concerning the services available for victims of crime.
2. To be notified of certain significant actions and proceedings within the juvenile justice system pertaining to their case, including:
a. access to information regarding whether the juvenile was detained or released following arrest, and whether a petition alleging delinquency has been filed; and
b. immediate notification of a juvenile’s pre-adjudication escape from a detention center or shelter facility and of the juvenile’s subsequent apprehension.
3. To be accompanied at all juvenile proceedings in accordance with 42 Pa. C.S. 6336 (relating to conduct of hearing) by a family member, a victim advocate or other person providing assistance or support;
4. In cases involving a "personal injury crime" or burglary, to submit prior comment to the prosecutor’s office or juvenile probation office, as appropriate to the circumstances of the case, on the potential reduction or dropping of any charge or changing of a plea in a delinquency proceeding, or, diversion of any case, including an informal adjustment or consent decree;
5. To have the opportunity to offer prior comment on the disposition of a delinquent child, to include the submission of a written and oral victim impact statement detailing the physical, psychological and economic effects of the crime on the victim and the victim’s family. The written statement shall be included in any predisposition report submitted to the court. Victim impact statements shall be considered by a court in determining the disposition of a juvenile;
6. Upon request of the victim of a personal injury crime, to have the opportunity to submit written comment or present oral testimony at a disposition review hearing, which comment or testimony shall be considered by the court when reviewing the disposition of the juvenile;
7. To be restored, to the extent possible, to the pre-crime economic status through the provision of restitution, compensation, and the expeditions return of property that is seized, as evidence in the case, when in the judgment of the prosecutor the evidence is no longer needed for prosecution of the case;
8. If, upon the request of the victim of a personal injury crime committed by a juvenile, the juvenile is ordered to residential placement, a shelter facility, or detention center, to:
a. receive prior notice of the date of release of the juvenile, including temporary leave or home pass;
b. be provided with immediate notice of an escape of the juvenile, including failure to return from temporary leave or home pass; and immediate notice of re-apprehension of the juvenile; and
c. be provided with notice of the transfer of a juvenile, who has been adjudicated delinquent, from a placement facility that is contrary to a previous court order or placement plan approved at a disposition review hearing, and to have the opportunity to express a written objection, prior to the release or transfer of the juvenile;
9. To have assistance in the preparation of, submission of and follow-up on financial assistance claims to the Crime Victims Compensation Program;
10. To be notified of the details of the final disposition of the case, consistent with 42 Pa C.S. 6336(f) (relating to the conduct hearings);
11. Upon the request of the victim of a personal injury crime, to be notified of the termination of the court’s jurisdiction.