Silvia Aceves, Staff Services Manager I with the CDCR Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS), has worked within the criminal justice system for over 18 years.
For nine years, she’s worked with victims and survivors, five of those with OVSRS.
Aceves has worked with victims on their requests for notification of offender’s release, death and/or escape. She also assists victims in processing their participation in parole hearings.
As a manager, she is still doing what she loves, helping and educating victims on the post-sentencing process. But now she also gets to motivate staff to be their best so they can better serve victims.
What is the main purpose of OVSRS?
The objective is providing support to victims and their families post sentencing, ensuring they have a voice in the process.
Aiding with notification registration, explaining the parole hearing process and answering all of their questions, or directing those to local services, is part of the job.
Since 1988, OVSRS has been a part of CDCR’s mission. As a department, we “facilitate the successful reintegration of individuals in our care back into society equipped with the tools to be drug-free, healthy, and employable members of society.” This is done through education, treatment, rehabilitative, and restorative justice programs.
To sponsor Victims Services, OVSRS collaborates with community partners to give grants and funding to provide services to the incarcerated population.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week explained
What is NCVRW?
NCVRW honors crime survivors and victims while also promoting crime victims’ rights and services across the country. Since 1981, NCVRW has raised awareness about the impact of victimization on individuals, their families, and our community. The topic for this year’s NCVRW is Rights, Access, and Equality for All Victims. It’s taking place April 24-30. During the week, institutions and offices show their support to victims and survivors by holding events and ceremonies commemorating victim’s rights.
How can staff get involved in Victims’ Rights?
Staff can participate in a variety of ways. There are numerous activities taking place across the country, not just in the CDCR. Attending webinars raises awareness of the many victim organizations that aid victims, as well as those service providers who assist victims around the clock.
Participating in local runs also raises awareness for victims’ rights in the community. You could inquire with the institution’s Community Resource Manager about volunteering for specific victim impact programs or fundraisers. Or, you could help plan CDCR activities at each institution.
Each institution also assists victims with the parole hearing process. Through the Classification and Parole Representative, you can volunteer to become a Victim Services Representative.