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Post-Conviction Victim Service Providers

two women comforting each other through a struggle

Victims have statutory rights that begin the moment a crime is committed against them. Ideally, victims would be fully informed of their rights at every step in the process: at the time the crime is reported, during the justice process, while the offender is incarcerated, and when the offender reenters the community. Different criminal justice stakeholders are responsible for victim services at different stages of this process. This webpage focuses on victim services such as corrections, reentry, parole, and probation that occur after an offender has been convicted, and it will provide resources and information for those working in this important, but rarely recognized area of corrections.

Many states have created statutes that mirror and expand the federal provisions under 18 U.S.C. Section 3771 and these post-conviction victims’ rights may include:

  • Notification of the location, status, and custody level of the inmate(s), including notification if the inmate(s) is released or escapes from custody
  • Notification of contact information for the institution where the inmate(s) is housed
  • Information about the right to protection, including assistance to obtain “no contact” orders that prevent the inmate(s) from contacting the victim
  • Assistance with the collection of restitution, if the sentence included an order of restitution
  • Providing information about and referrals to crime victim services in the community
  • In cases involving violent crime, receiving information about the Crime Victim Compensation Program
  • Submission of a Victim Impact Statement and information regarding its use and purpose 
  • The right to information about compliance during supervision in the community
  • The opportunity to participate in a victim/offender dialogue program

It is very important to know and understand the victim rights in your own jurisdiction, how those rights have been interpreted and what agency is responsible for providing for those rights. In many states the duties for post-conviction services are shared between the state departments of correction and the paroling authority. 

Agencies wishing to participate in training and/or examine and improve their response to victim services in corrections may apply for limited, short-term technical assistance to aid their efforts: /TA.

BJS is conducting a National Census & Survey of Victim Service Providers survey logo

The National Survey of Victim Service Providers (NSVSP) aims to fill important gaps in the understanding of victim service providers (VSPs) and the victims they serve, providing insight into how the field is equipped to meet victims' needs.

Resources from their recent webinar:
A link to the webinar recording can be found here.
A link to the podcast mentioned in the webinar can be found here.
A link to the PDF of the slides presented during the webinar, copies of the both the NCVSP and NSVSP instruments, and outreach materials that include a listserv/newsletter announcement, Twitter and Facebook postings about the NSVSP, and the NSVSP logo here

 

Case Update:

scales of justiceArizona Court of Appeals ruled that a cap to restitution is unconstitutional. In 2006, the Arizona legislature passed a law that requires those who are convicted of a traffic offense that causes serious physical injury or death to pay restitution, but limited that payment to no more than $10,000. The amount was later increased to $100,000. This case hinged on an award of restitution by the municipal judge for injury in a traffic accident to the victim for $61,192. That award was appealed by the man convicted in the case. Maricopa County Superior Court ruled in favor of a limit to the compensation amount. The case then went before the Appeals Court which ruled that victims are entitled to restitution that will restore them to their economic status before the crime. For more information on restitution for victims, please visit the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) Rights: Restitution/Compensation resources.

Link to the ruling: STATE v. PATEL

 

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Division: 
Community Services Division