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For Crime Victims/Victim Advocates


Resilient Voices Victim Speakers

At the Office of Victim Advocate (OVA), we offer many paths to healing for crime victims, survivors and others affected by crime. Often, paths for those affected leads them to finding their respective voice and seeking to use that voice to share their own personal experience with others.
Victims choose to tell their story for several different reasons. Some want others to know what happened to them in an effort to prevent it from happening to someone else. For others, telling and re-telling their story may help them with their own personal healing journey. Family members of homicide victims often share their story to memorialize a loved one.
OVA also has various speaking opportunities available for crime victims who wish to share their experience with others. One such opportunity is speaking to inmates during Impact of Crime Classes. We also invite victim speakers to discuss their experience as a victim of crime at trainings for new county probation officers and state parole agents and Department of Corrections (DOC) staff. Through the personal stories of crime victims, parole agents and DOC staff can learn about the short and long term impact of crime. Our hope is that hearing from victims directly will prepare them to work effectively with victims and treat them with dignity and respect.
The goal of Resilient Voices is to provide a space for survivors to share their personal experience, strength and hope in a forum that best suits their individual goals. We provide a repository for all crime victims and survivors who wish to speak in other areas within the commonwealth (i.e. colleges, schools, events, media, legislative hearings etc.)  
As we have always done in the past we are recruiting speakers to be a part of our program and now have an application for participation. (pdf)

Tours of State Correctional Institutions

People have ideas about what prisons are like and what inmates do every day based on what is on television and in the movies. Often, this portrayal of prison life is distorted. One of the most effective ways to address these myths and to answer many questions victims have about prison life is by touring one of Pennsylvania’s state correctional institutions (SCI).
Common questions regarding the life of a state prison inmate include:
  • What is it like inside a prison? 
  • How much time do they spend in their cells?
  • Do they get to watch television? 
  • Do they have to be involved in any education or treatment programs? 
  • What kind of treatment programs are available? 
  • What can they have in their cell?
What will most likely be seen on a tour of a SCI:
  • Visiting Room
  • Treatment Areas
  • Recreational Yards
  • Education Areas
  • Dining Area
  • Cell Block
DOC staff work closely with OVA to provide a safe and informative prison tour for crime victims, survivors and their advocates. If you are a crime victim or a victim advocate and are interested in arranging a tour of a SCI, please call OVA at 1.800.563.6399 for more information.