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Institutional Advocacy

Assistance for Offenders

In Pennsylvania, all crime victims/survivors have rights. This includes those who have been victimized while serving time in our state correctional facilities.

OVA provides advocacy, accompaniment and assistance to any inmate who is the victim of an assault or any victimized inmate who is going through the court system. Services include:

    • assisting with victim impact statement and comments to the PA Parole Board
    • accompanying to court (in-person or via video conferencing)
    • explaining the court process and what to expect
    • communicating with family
    • navigating restitution payments
    • answering questions about the Sex Offender Registration Notification Act (SORNA)

PA inmates are encouraged to send mail to:

OVA-IVAC
1101 S. Front Street, Suite 5200
Harrisburg, PA 17104

 

Assistance for Institution Staff

OVA's dedicated Institutional Victim Assistance Coordinator also provides advocacy and accompaniment services for any Department of Corrections staff member who is assaulted while working in a state correctional institutional or community corrections center. Services include:

    • assisting with victim impact statement and comment to the PA Parole Board
    • accompanying in court (in-person or via video conferencing)
    • explaining the court process and what to expect
    • and more 

 OVA is not involved in any PREA reporting or investigating. For assistance, please call 717.772.4380 or email hcattron@pa.gov.

 

In addition to the above services, OVA also provides training and workshops within the correctional facilities. Most classes are aimed at educating offenders on the long-term harm caused by crime and encouraging empathy and understanding. To schedule classes – or for information on how to become a survivor speaker – call 800.563.6399 or email RA-OVAinfo@pa.gov.  

Read more information on the Inmate Apology Bank