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Indiana Department of Correction

IDOC > Victims' Services Victim Services Division

Definition of a Victim and Witness

Indiana Code (IC) 35-40-4-8 defines the term “victim” as “…a person that has suffered harm as a result of a crime that was perpetrated directly against the person.”

IC 35-37-5-1 defines the term "witness" as "a person whose testimony is desired in any proceeding or investigation by a grand jury or in a criminal action, prosecution, or proceeding."

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Victim Notification

The Department provides two types of notifications, manual and automated.

Indiana SAVIN

Indiana SAVIN (statewide automated victim information and notification) allows Indiana residents to receive real-time information about the custody status of offenders in all 92 counties. Users can register to be notified about an offender's placement, release, transfer, or other change. There is no cost to use the service and users can access offender information by telephone or the internet. The program was launched publicly in April 2007. The program will be fully implemented by the end of 2008.

SAVIN – http://indianasavin.in.gov/, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and operators will be available around the clock to answer questions or assist callers. Crime victims are anonymous while using the system. Also a call center is available to answer any questions at 1-866-891-0330.

If you would like more information about Indiana SAVIN or its implementation or would like to request promotional materials, please contact the Victim Services Division at (317) 232-5749

SAVIN Materials:

Manual Notification

The Victim Services Division is responsible for making notification to victims and witnesses of an offender's pending release. Notification is made forty-five (45) days prior to an offender's release. A staff member is on call 24 hours a day to ensure victims and witnesses are notified promptly in an emergency.

As defined in IC 11-8-1-5.5, Community Transition Program (CTP) is the assignment of a court-committed offender from the Department back to the community to provide services that improve the offender’s chances of making a successful transition from prison back into the community.

Victims are notified when the offender is eligible to participate in CTP. Victims have the option of writing to the court of conviction regarding the offender’s release to CTP. The judge makes the final decision about CTP participation and if approved, the victim(s) will be notified 5-7 days before the offender is released to the program.

Victims are encouraged to keep contact information up-to-date and current. If contact information is not updated, notification may be impossible.

All victim notification information is held in the strictest confidence. Offenders will not be informed of a notification request, nor will any victim information be available to the offender, the offender's attorney, or the public. If you are a victim or witness and would like to receive more information about the Department’s notification efforts, please contact the Department’s Victim Services Division directly at (317) 232-5749.

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Information, Referrals, and Other Services

The Victim Services Division strives to keep the most complete, up-to-date, and accurate referral and resource information available to effectively assist victims and witnesses. We are ready to provide you with referrals to other agencies that provide various services to crime victims and witnesses. We will be happy to assist you with referrals for:

  • Attorney General
  • Legal Assistance
  • Local Prosecutor's Office
  • Parole Districts
  • Probation Departments
  • Shelter/Transitional Housing
  • Victim Assistance Agencies/Organizations
  • Violent Crime Compensation

If you would like more information, please contact the Division directly at (317) 232-5749.

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Crisis/Harassment Intervention

Victims of crime have the right to be free from intimidation. Please contact the Victim Services Division at (317) 232-5749 or (800) 447-5604, if you have been harassed or threatened by an offender. Our office will make appropriate contacts.

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Violent Crime Compensation Program

In 1978, the Indiana General Assembly enacted into law a program to provide financial assistance for violent crime victims known as Indiana Violent Crime Victim Compensation Fund. The fund, which is maintained by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, assists victims or their dependents with medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and psychological counseling. If you would like more information on Violent Crime Compensation, please visit http://www.in.gov/cji/comp/ or you may contact the Institute directly using the information below.

Victims Compensation Indiana Criminal Justice Institute 101 West Washington Street - Suite 1170, East Tower Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

Phone: (317) 232-1233 Toll Free: (800) 353-1484 Fax: (317) 233-3912 Email: Victim Services

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Wrap-Around Services

The Victim Resource Services section works together with Victim Advocates, Victim Assistance Units, Crisis Centers and Law Enforcement agencies in order to achieve victim safety prior to the release of an offender. If you are unsure of your safety upon the release of an offender, you are encouraged to contact our office for appropriate referrals.

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Victim-Offender Letter Writing

Occasionally, a victim may desire to write an offender. As a service to victims, the Department offers a program to allow offenders to receive victim correspondence, while protecting personal information (i.e., new name or address).

This program also allows the offender to write their victim; however, the letter will not be forwarded to the victim unless the victim has specifically acknowledged an interest in receiving such correspondence. All offender letters will be maintained in a file for future distribution, if the victim should later decide to accept the correspondence.

If you would like more information, please contact the Division directly at (317) 232-5749.

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Criminal Justice Support

Our program offers assistance and support before, during, and after scheduled parole and clemency hearings. A coordinator from our office will be available to attend hearings and to assist through this process. Support is also offered to victims throughout the execution process. If you would like more information, please contact the Division directly at (317) 232-5749.

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YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

Offender Public Information Search

The Indiana Department of Correction welcomes you to visit the online Offender Public Information Search. This database is provided as a free service and is made available to the public and law enforcement in the interest of public safety.

Searching for offender information begins by clicking on "Offender Search" and imputing the offender's and last name or DOC number.

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Community Corrections

The State of Indiana provides funding for counties to operate local Community Corrections programs in order to provide supervision and treatment to offenders in their community as an alternative to incarceration. Counties that receive Community Corrections' grants represent over 85% of the State's population and may serve adults and juveniles.

Community Corrections programs are responsible for offenders in the community who have:

  • been diverted from the Department of Correction,
  • offenders who have been released from the Department through the Community Transition Program (CTP), and
  • those offenders serving a split sentence with a condition of Community Corrections fall his/her period of incarceration.

Information regarding a specific offender, who is participating in a Community Corrections program is best available through the local Corrections Office.

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Community Transition Program

As defined in IC 11-8-1-5.5, CTP is the assignment of a court-committed offender from DOC to provide services that improve the offender's chances of making a successful transition from commitment to employment and participation in the community without the future commission of crimes.

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Indiana Parole Board

The Indiana Parole Board consists of five (5) members: the Chairman, Vice Chairman and three (3) members who are appointed by the Governor to serve four (4) year terms.

The Board has jurisdiction over all offenders who committed their crimes before October 1977 (referred to as "old code" offenders), and exercises discretionary parole release authority over them. The Board also has jurisdiction over all offenders who committed their crimes after October 1977 (referred to as "new code" offenders) whose release on parole is mandatory. When parole is violated, the Board makes discretionary decisions regarding the reinstatement of parole of all "new code" offenders whose parole has been revoked.

In addition, the Indiana Parole Board acts as a Clemency Commission for all capital cases and makes recommendations to the Governor concerning clemency requests for all "old code" and "new code" offenders. The Board also collects information for the Governor in regards to pardon, clemency, or commutation requests.

The Indiana Parole Board is available to assist victims who have safety concerns in regard to an offender's parole release. If you have safety concerns, you may contact the Indiana Parole Board at (317) 232-5673.

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Parole Board Hearings

A Parole Board Hearing is a proceeding where the parole board allows the offender, victims, witnesses and other concerned parties to express their support of, or opposition to the offender being paroled. There are two different Parole Board Hearings involved in the parole process.

The public hearing is informal and welcomes any concerned party, including victims, witnesses and family members, to express support or opposition to the offender being paroled. You have the right to give a statement to the board, whether it is oral, written, videotaped or audio taped. You would not have to be present to enter a statement.

Anyone needing any special needs, such as an interpreter or video equipment, should contact Victim/Witness Service Programs office at (317) 232-5749 at least 72 hours prior to the scheduled hearing. No dress code is required, but please keep in mind that you would be in a government facility and it is in your best interest to dress appropriately. There is no checkpoint, but Capital Police are located throughout the building for security purposes. You will need to check in with appropriate staff outside of the hearing room in order to give your name and relationship (e.g. victim family, neighbor, etc.). At this time, you may request to speak to the board after the offender's family and friends speak, if that would create more comfort for you.

There are two waiting rooms: one for visitors who support the parole and one for visitors who oppose the parole. When the offender's name is called, both groups will enter the hearing room together, but will have separate rows of seating. The board will be seated at the front of the room and a video camera will be next to them. This camera will record the entire hearing; so please refrain from divulging personal information that you do not want exposed (i.e.; address, place of employment, etc.). The offender will not be present at the hearing, but he/she would be able to obtain this information on his/her own time.

The facility hearing is the offender's time to speak to the board and it is held at the location of the offender. The victim may attend this proceeding, but will not have the opportunity to speak about or oppose anything said in the hearing. It is a privilege for anyone to visit the facility and there will be expected guidelines. Please dress appropriately. Everyone attending a Parole Board hearing must dress appropriately. Those planning to speak before the Board should dress in a manner respectful of a criminal justice tribunal. Anyone planning to attend as interested observers shall be fully dressed, and must avoid any sort of revealing clothing. Each facility will have prohibitions against indiscreet or otherwise unsafe attire. Expect to enter through a checkpoint entrance. You could be asked to leave at any time, should the authorities find a reason. With that in mind, you can call Victim/ Witness Service Program office for more details on attending this hearing.

After both hearings are held, the board will make a decision whether or not to grant parole to the offender. You are more than welcome to call Victim/Witness Service Program office in order to obtain the decision made no sooner than one week after the facility hearing. Victim/Witness Service Program office will make contact with you at that time if requested.

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To Request Services

For notification of offender status, please click here to access "http://indianasavin.in.gov/" Include the offender's name and DOC number. (If you do not know the offender's DOC number, include his/her birth date, social security number, cause number and date of sentence), your name, address,email address, telephone number, and an alternate contact address and telephone number where you can be reached in the event of an emergency; i.e., escape. You may use a third party if you desire (i.e., family, friend, lawyer, other agency). However, it should be noted that the contact person should be someone we can contact at all times and who is able to contact you at any given time.

NOTE: Victim Notification is confidential. Therefore, the offender will not be informed of the notification request, nor will any victim information be available to the offender, the offender's attorney, or the public.

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