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Register with OVA

The Office of Victim Advocate can register any crime victim in a case where the sentencing court has ordered jurisdiction of the offender to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) and/or the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP). This includes:
  • Sentenced offenders who are housed in Pennsylvania state correctional institutions (SCIs) 
  • Sentenced offenders who received a state sentence (24 months) and by judicial order are serving their sentence in a Pennsylvania county correctional facility 
  • Sentenced offenders who received a county sentence (less than 24 months) and by judicial order are serving their sentence in a Pennsylvania state correctional institution 
  • Sentenced offenders who are under the supervision of the PBPP

Who is Eligible to be Registered?

  • Adult victims (18 years of age or older) 
  • Parents/legal guardians of minor victims (until the minor reaches 18 years of age) 
  • Parents/legal guardians with power of attorney for incapacitated adult victims 
  • Family members of homicide victims

Why Should Victims Register?

  • To receive notification of their right under Pennsylvania Law to provide input regarding any release (i.e. Boot Camp, State Intermediate Punishment (SIP)and parole review of the offender 
  • To receive notification of the escape, recapture and other types of custody changes
  • To receive notification of execution warrants and stays
  • To receive notification from the Board of Pardons 
  • Registrations are voluntary and confidential

How Can Victims Register?

Call 1.800.563.6399 during regular business hours Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm. Someone will be available to assist you. 
 

Your Right to Register

As a victim of crime in Pennsylvania, you have the following post-sentencing rights:
  • To receive notice of all post-sentencing release decisions, including parole and pardons.
  • To submit prior oral, written or in-person comments on post-sentencing release decisions including parole and pardons.
  • To receive immediate notice of the escape and recapture of the offender from a correctional facility.
  • To receive notice of a commitment of the offender to a mental health facility from a state correctional institution and of the discharge, transfer or escape of the offender from the mental health facility.
  • To have the Victim Advocate petition the Board of Probation and parole to deny parole and/or set conditions of parole.
  • To receive notice and provide input on inmate applications for commutations and pardons.

Registration Form for OVA

registration brochure

Giving Crime Victims a Voice

Confidentiality

Your enrollment and participation with the Office of Your enrollment and participation with the Office of Victim Advocate (OVA) is confidential. Your comments, whether oral, written, video-taped, or in-person testimony are confidential by law.
 

Enrollment

If the opportunity to provide input on the program/release decisions made by the DOC and the PBPP and to be notified of these decisions is important to you, we encourage you to exercise your rights as a crime victim. To do so you must complete this registration form. This form will register you for notification of any inmate release decisions made by the DOC and the PBPP.
 

Your Responsibilities

  • Complete the attached registration form and mail it to the Office of Victim Advocate.
  • Keep the OVA informed as to your current address and phone number.

Your Comments

Your comments shall be considered in the final release decisions made by DOC and PBPP. These agencies review a variety of factors, including comments from the Sentencing Judge and District Attorney, institutional adjustment, previous parole experience and emotional stability.
 

PA SAVIN

PA SAVIN is the Pennsylvania Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification system. It is a valuable service giving crime victims and other concerned citizens free and confidential notifications about an inmate’s release, transfer or escape. PA SAVIN gives you timely information on specific offenders, 24-hours a day, over the phone, through the Internet, or by email.
 
When you register with OVA, you will have the option to register with PA SAVIN. You need to provide a 4-digit PIN number if you sign up for telephone notification. Make your PIN an easy number to remember. You will need to enter this PIN number to stop repeated notification calls from PA SAVIN.
 

The Release Process

Parole

In Pennsylvania, most offenders receive a minimum and maximum sentence. By law, they are required to serve the entire minimum sentence before being considered for release on parole. Nine months prior to the offender’s minimum sentence date, victims who are registered with OVA will be notified of their opportunity to provide input into the parole process via options such as oral testimony, a written statement, video-taped comments, or in person victim testimony to the PBPP. Four months prior to the offender’s minimum sentence date, the PBPP begins to review a variety of factors to determine the offender’s eligibility for parole. The victim’s comments are seen to be an important part of the final decision-making process.
 

Pardons/Commutations

The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons has the responsibility of making recommendations to the Governor regarding applications for a pardon. The Office of Victim Advocate provides support and outreach to crime victims during this process.