CRIME VICTIM RIGHTS
Under Pennsylvania law, an individual possesses certain rights as a victim of a crime. In addition, there are standards of service that you can expect to receive as a victim of crime. The standards help ensure that you receive information, practical and emotional support, and are able to participate fully in the criminal justice system. These standards were created to make sure that you are treated with dignity and respect at all times, regardless of your gender, age, marital status, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability or religion.
Your rights will be provided to you by several different agencies, which include a state or local law enforcement agency, the prosecutor’s office, local correctional facility, Board of Probation and Parole, the juvenile probation office or the Department of Public Welfare. Who provides specific notifications to you depends on where the case is in the criminal or juvenile justice system. There are some rights that you will need to request in order for them to be provided to you.
It is important that crime victims know their rights and understand that it is their responsibility to exercise those rights when necessary. Victims are strongly advised to review the entire Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights, as well as other important information provided by Pennsylvania’s Office of the Victim Services, and the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate. Different victim rights attach during the various stages of a criminal prosecution:
DURING THE POLICE INVESTIGATION
The right to be informed that you have rights as a victim as soon as is reasonable. Officers will issue the Crime Victim and Services Packet which contains: Explanation of your rights as a crime victim and the following victim compensation, rights of domestic violence victims, Domestic violence counseling, emergency shelters, how to obtain a protection from abuse order or protection of victims of sexual violence or intimidation order, along with additional resources related to sexual violence, drug and alcohol counseling and treatment, and child or elder abuse, Court date and offender release notifications, and contain the Victim compensation assistance application.
UPON THE SUSPECT’S ARREST
The right to be reasonably protected from the defendant throughout the criminal justice process. The right to keep your address and phone number from the defendant. The right to be informed of criminal charges, defendants’ arraignment and bail status, incarceration, transfer, or release.
CRIME VICTIM RESOURCES
CLEARFIELD COUNTY VICTIM WITNESS OFFICE
If you are a victim/witness of a crime in Clearfield county and seek further explanation or assistance
CRIME VICTIM NOTIFICATION SYSTEM
PA SAVIN stands for Pennsylvania Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification
PA SAVIN is Pennsylvania’s automated victim notification system and part of our state’s commitment to support victims of crime. This service provides crime victims, their families with free, confidential notification regarding an offender’s release, transfer or escape. The PA SAVIN service includes offenders under the supervision of county jails, state prisons and the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.
If you are not a victim of crime and would like to be notified when a particular inmate is released, transferred or escapes from a county jail or state prison, please call toll-free 1.866.9PA.SAVIN or visit www.vinelink.com
If you are a victim of a Pennsylvania crime and the person is serving a state sentence (24 months or more), you have the right to receive additional services and notifications not available to the public. To receive these services and notifications, you must register with the Office of the Victim Advocate. If you are a victim of crime and register with PA SAVIN only, you will NOT be notified when an offender is being considered for release.
PA SAVIN/VINElink now has a mobile app!