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victim notification and input

How can I be notified?

  • Eligible crime victims must be registered with the Office of Victim Advocate (OVA) for release-related reviews. 
  • To find out if you are eligible for registration, see our Register with OVA for Services page, which includes OVA contact information. 
  • If you decide to register for OVA services, it is very important that you keep your address and other contact information up to date.

How will I be notified?

  • Letter
  • Email Alert 
  • Phone Call

What notifications will I receive?

Event Type ​DOC or PBPP? ​Notified by OVA ​Notified by SAVIN Notified by Both ​
State Intermediate Punishment Consideration (SIP) ​DOC ​Yes ​No ​No
Transfer to Quehanna Boot Camp (QBC) ​DOC ​Yes ​Yes ​Yes
Prison Escape/Recapture ​DOC ​Yes ​Yes ​Yes
Inmate Death
​DOC ​Yes ​Yes ​Yes
Furlough review ​DOC ​Yes ​No ​No
Furlough release ​DOC ​Yes ​Yes ​Yes
Transfer to Mental Health Facility ​DOC ​Yes ​No. Responsibility for notifications transfers to DPW. ​No
​Transfer to other authorities (county, other state) ​DOC ​Yes, except for county transfers due to a write (court hearing) ​Yes, with limited detail ​Yes
Transfer to another State Correctional Institution (SCI) ​DOC ​No ​Yes ​No
Release to CCC ​PBPP ​Yes ​Yes ​Yes
Automatic Parole upon Completion of QBC
​PBPP ​Yes ​Yes ​Yes
Parole Review when offenders are eligible ​PBPP ​Yes ​No ​No
PBPP Decision to approve/refuse parole ​PBPP ​Yes ​No ​No
Parole Revoked or Rescinded PBPP ​PBPP ​Yes ​No ​No
Parolee Death ​PBPP ​Yes ​No ​No
Board of Pardons Consideration ​PBPP ​Yes ​No ​No
 
Crime victims, who are registered with OVA, have the right to provide information to the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) and PA Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) decision makers about the ongoing impact of the crime when the offender in their case is being reviewed for certain types of release. This is also a way to let the DOC and PBPP know about any concerns the crime victim may have for their own or their family’s safety and to request that certain conditions of release be put in place if the offender is approved for release.
 
The decision to provide input is a personal one. Victim input will inform the decision makers about the long term effects of the crime and also help in developing conditions of release. Victims of crime are not obligated to provide input. Some people find it is helpful experience, while others may find it too difficult to share and still others may feel it is not going to make any difference. The choice is always yours.

Victim input is confidential and not shared with the offender.

The Office of Victim Advocate facilitates the opportunities for input into any release process for the DOC and PBPP. There are several ways to provide that input:
 

Written Comments: Examples of this could be a letter written to the decision makers focusing on the impact of the crime and specific safety concerns, copies of photos or court documents, etc.

Sending in any Media: Examples could be an audio or video recording. This is best sent in on a CD, DVD or USB key as many forms of media are too large to be sent electronically over email.

Oral Comments: A registered victim may call into OVA and provide input which can be summarized and placed in a memo to the decision makers.

Oral Testimony: A meeting can be set up with a Hearing examiner, who is an employee of the board to provide all testimony. This may not be the decision maker in the case. The information is digitally recorded and provided in transcript form to the decision makers of the parole review. You must call our office to schedule this option.

In Person Victim Testimony: This is a meeting with the decision makers in the case. The meeting takes places in Harrisburg, PA and is arranged through our office. The testimony is video recorded. You must call our office to schedule this option.

Making a statement - english

making a statement - spanish

 

Registered crime victims receive more information on the available options when they are notified by OVA that the DOC or PB​PP is considering an offender for certain types of releases.
 
At this time, there is not an option for the registered crime victim to meet directly with the DOC.