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 (§ 28, Article I) to provide a general Victims' Bill of Rights during criminal, juvenile and parole matters. Marsy's Law changes Penal Code §§ 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.
A view of the full copy of the text of the Victim's Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy's Law (Proposition 9) is available from the California Secretary of State.
Marsy's Law included changes to the procedural hearing rights of parolees who are facing revocation of parole. Along with hearing timeframes and setting forth the preponderance of evidence standard in parole revocation hearings, Marsy's law also adds eligibility criteria for parolees to obtain an attorney for revocation proceedings at state expense. At this time, the state is under federal court order to refrain from implementing the Marsy's law revocation changes, pending resolution of the matter in the class action lawsuit entitled Valdivia, et al v. Schwarzenegger, et al, U.S. District Court (Eastern District) Case No. 2:94-cv-00671-LKK-GGH.
If you would like to register as a victim of a crime in order to receive notice of future parole consideration hearings, please complete a Request for Victims Services form. The Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services will be able to assist you. You can also call the Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services at (877) 256-OVSS(6877).
Additionally, if you are a victim of a crime and would like to receive telephone and e-mail notification when the offender’s custody status changes please register with California Information and Notification Everyday (CA VINE). The CA VINE system is a service through which victims of crime can use the telephone or Internet to search for information regarding the custody status of their offender and receive notification of custody status changes. The CA VINE toll-free number is 1-877-411-5588.
Within approximately 30 days upon completion of a prisoner's hearing before the Board, a stenographic record (transcript) of the hearing will be available upon request. To learn more about how to obtain a verbatim copy of the hearing proceedings, please visit our Request for Parole Suitability Hearing Transcript page.
The Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services will provide information regarding attendance at parole consideration hearings or notification concerning future hearings. They may be reached during normal business hours at their toll-free telephone number 1-877-256-OVSS (6877) or by Email, or at their mailing address:
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & Services
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001
Board of Parole Hearings
Post Office Box 4036
Sacramento, CA 95812-4036