Registered victims/survivors have the right to provide input to the PA Parole Board, should their offender(s) become parole eligible. OVA facilitates this process, notifying victims at the proper time and providing supportive services throughout.
Victim input will inform decision makers about the long term effects of the crime and will aid in developing conditions of the offender's release.
Victims/survivors are never obligated to participate in this process. Some find it to be a helpful experience, while others find it too difficult to share.
Various input options are available:
- appear in person to speak directly with decision makers
- provide input via live video conference
- submit written testimony
- speak with an advocate on the phone who will transcribe comments
The decision to provide testimony is a personal one, and trained OVA team members are available to discuss these options and provide supportive accompaniment throughout the process.
Those who choose to prepare their comments, may find these tips for providing testimony helpful.
A safety plan is a personalized strategy that includes ways to remain safe, an identified support system, and tactics to cope with emotions.
In a moment of crisis or when triggered by panic, our brains will not function the same way they do when we are calm. Planning in advance will help victims/survivors to act quickly and can calm some feelings of fear and panic. Check this sheet for safety planning tips when an offender is released on parole.
Learn more about trauma and self-care.