Understanding
Victim's Rights


This site will provide you with valuable information if you are the victim of or witness to a crime and the offender was sentenced to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). California Law (Penal Code Section 679.02) establishes the statutory rights of victims and witnesses of crime. You have the right to:


Notification

The direct victim of a crime, parent or guardian of a minor victim, victim's next of kin, witness, or concerned citizen may request to be notified of the death, release, placement in a re-entry facility, or escape of the offender(s) who committed the crime. Requests MUST be made in writing either by sending a letter or by completing and submitting a CDCR Form 1707 (Rev. 04/08), Request for Victim Services , to CDCR's Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services (OVSRS). If you move, you MUST notify OVSRS of your new address. Note: Information about victims, victim's next of kin, witnesses or concerned citizens is kept confidential and will not be made available to the inmate unless consent is given by the individual requesting notification. For additional information please contact the Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services toll free at 1-877-256-OVSS (6877).

California Law (Penal Code Section 3058.8); (Penal Code Section 646.92); (Penal Code Section 679.03); (Penal Code Section 11155)


Victim Input Into Special Conditions of Parole

You may request input into the following special conditions of parole:

  • That the parolee be required to live in another county or in another city within the committing county if you are clearly threatened; or if the inmate was convicted of a specific violent felony, you may request parole placement 35 miles from your actual residence.
  • Restrict the parolee's contact with you. Parolee contact with a victim without prior approval from the parole agent may be justification for revocation and return to custody.

If you are interested in requesting special conditions of parole, complete and submit a CDCR Form 1707 (Rev. 04/08), Request for Victim Services. Please note that requests made for special conditions of parole will be considered by the CDCR Division of Parole Operations prior to the time of the inmate’s release. For additional information, please contact the Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services toll free at 1-877-256-OVSS (6877).

California Law (Penal Code Section 3003); (Penal Code Section 12022.7); (Penal Code Section 12022.9)


Victim Notification of BPH Hearing

When requested, the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) will notify the victim/next of kin/immediate family member of the parole consideration hearing conducted for prisoners sentenced to life terms with the possibility of parole.

Requests MUST be made in writing or by calling the Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services (OVSRS). If you move you MUST notify OVSRS of your new address.

Upon receipt of the request, OVSRS will send you a Declaration form to complete and return stating that you are a victim/next of kin/immediate family member of the victim. Once the declaration is returned, your request will be kept on file and you will be notified in writing once the inmate is scheduled for a parole consideration hearing.

A victim may request through the BPH to appear before the hearing panel and make a statement. If you cannot attend the hearing but would like to make a statement, legal counsel may attend the hearing for you or you may submit a written statement, audiocassette or videocassette tape recording to the BPH. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services toll free at 1-877-256-OVSS (6877).

Request Notification of Board of Parole Hearings

California Law (Penal Code Section 3043)


Restitution

It is the unequivocal intention of the people of the State of California that all persons who suffer losses as a result of criminal activity shall have the right to restitution from the person convicted of the crime for losses they suffered. Restitution shall be ordered from the convicted person in every case in which a crime victim suffers a loss regardless of the sentence or disposition imposed, unless compelling and extraordinary reasons exist to the contrary. » More on Restitution

California Law (Penal Code Section 1202.4); (Penal Code Section 1202.45)


Victim's Bill of Rights 2008: Marsy's Law

The voters passed the "Victim's Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy's Law" on November 4, 2008. Marsy's Law changes the constitution of California (section 28, Article I) to provide a general Victims' Bill of Rights during criminal, juvenile and parole matters. Marsy's Law changes Penal Code Sections 3041.5 and 3043 to expand victims' rights in parole proceedings for prisoners sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. It applies to all hearings for the purpose of setting, postponing, or rescinding of life prisoner parole dates. For more information visit the Marsy's Law web page.


Megan's Law

Megan's Law was given final passage by the Legislature on August 24, 2004 and signed by the Governor on September 24, 2004. The law provides the public with certain information on the whereabouts of sex offenders so that members of our local communities may protect themselves and their children. This expanded access allows the public to use their personal computers to view information on sex offenders required to register with local law enforcement. Megan's Law is named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known child molester who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of the tragedy, the Kankas sought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in the area. All states now have a form of Megan's Law.

For more information, or to access the sex offender locator site, visit the Megan's Law website.

Email Email Victim Services
Phone 1-877-256-6877 (toll free)
Contact Info Additional Contact Information