The California Department of Corrections has launched a new toll-free line for victims of crime as part of the Department’s increased emphasis on victims’ rights and services.
Victims seeking help from Corrections can now call the following number free of charge:
Crime victims and their families can request help from the Department with the following activities:
- Notification when an inmate dies, is released or escapes.
- Notification of Board of Prison Terms’ hearings
- Assistance with placing special conditions of parole on inmates about to be released from prison
- Aid if the victim is being threatened or harassed by an inmate or parolee
- Assistance with collecting restitution
- Referrals to appropriate victim service providers and organizations
As part of the Department’s expanded role in crime victims programs, the Office of Victims Services and Restitution has recently been elevated within the organization and placed directly under the Director’s Office.
“This Department’s comprehensive victims’ program is viewed throughout the country as an outstanding example of the role Corrections can play in helping victims of crime,” said C.A. Terhune, Director of the California Department of Corrections. “Placing this office directly under my supervision sends a message to crime victims throughout California that we consider victims’ concerns a top priority.”
In the ten years since Corrections established its program to help victims of crime, the Department’s Office of Victims Services has helped thousands of crime victims and collected more than $17 million in restitution fines. The restitution fines, which are imposed by a judge at sentencing, are general fines that go to the Board of Control for disbursement to crime victims.
The Department of Corrections will be joining a number of other state agencies in promoting greater awareness of victims rights during the week of April 19-25, which Governor Wilson has declared as Victims’ Rights Week in California. In addition to participating in the 9th Annual Victims March on the Capitol on April 21, Department staff will be conducting educational programs and other special events at prisons throughout the state.