CRIME VICTIM BILL OF RIGHTS
The goal of this program funded under the Rights and Services Act (RASA) and the Victims of Juvenile Offenders Act (VOJO) is that victims of crime whose cases are processed within the criminal and/or juvenile justice systems receive all the rights and services to which they are entitled under the law.
Under Section 11.201 of the Crime Victims Act, crime victims in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have the following rights:
- To receive information concerning the services available for victims of crime.
- To be notified of certain significant actions and proceedings within the criminal and juvenile justice systems pertaining to their case.
- To be accompanied to all criminal and/or juvenile proceedings in accordance with 42 Pa.C.S. §6336 (relating to conduct of hearings) by a family member, a victim advocate or other person providing assistance or support.
- In cases involving a personal injury crime or burglary, to submit prior comment to the prosecutor’s office, as appropriate to the circumstances of the case, on the potential reduction or dropping of any charge or changing of a plea in a criminal or delinquency proceeding, or diversion of any case, including an informal adjustment or consent decree.
- To have the opportunity to offer prior on the sentencing of a defendant or the disposition of a delinquent child, to include the submission of an oral or written victim impact statement detailing the physical, psychological and economic effects the crime has had on the victim and the victims’ family. The written statement shall be included in any predisposition or presentence report submitted to the Court. Victim Impact Statements shall be considered by a Court when determining the disposition of a juvenile or sentence of an adult. This also includes notice of and prior comment on a judicial recommendation that the defendant participate in a Motivational Boot Camp.
- To be restored, to the extent possible, to the pre-crime economic status through the provision of restitution, compensation, and the expeditious return of property which is seized as evidence in the case when in the judgement of the prosecutor the evidence is no longer needed for prosecution of the case.
- In personal injury crimes where the adult is sentenced to a state correctional facility, to be given the opportunity to provide prior comment on and to receive State post sentencing release decisions, including work release, furlough, parole, pardon or community treatment center placement; provided immediate notice of an escape of the adult and of subsequent apprehension; given opportunity to receive notice of and to provide prior comment on a recommendation sought by the Department of Corrections that the offender participate in a motivational boot camp pursuant to the Motivational Boot Camp Act.
- In personal injury crimes where the adult is sentenced to a local correctional facility, to receive notice of the date of the release of the adult, including work release, furlough, parole, release from a boot camp or community treatment center placement and be provided with immediate notice of an escape of the adult and the subsequent apprehension.
(8.1) If, upon the request of the victim of a personal injury crime committed by a juvenile, the juvenile is ordered to residential placement, a shelter facility, or a detention center, to
Receive prior notice of the date of the release of the juvenile, including temporary leave or home pass.
Be provided with an immediate notice of an escape of the juvenile, including failure to return from temporary leave or home pass; and
Immediate notice of re-apprehension of the juvenile.
Be provided with notice of transfer of a juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent from a placement facility that is contrary to a previous court order or placement plan approved at a disposition review hearing and to have the opportunity to express a written objection prior to the release or transfer of the juvenile.
- If the adult is subject to an order under 23 Pa.C.S.Chapter 61 (relating to protection from abuse) and is committed to a local correctional facility for a violation of the order or for a personal injury crime against a victim protected by the order, to receive immediate notice of the release of the adult on bail.
- To receive notice if an adult is committed to a mental health facility from a state correctional institution and notice of the discharge, transfer or escape of an adult from the mental health facility.
- To have assistance in the preparation of, submission of and follow-up on financial claims to the bureau.
- To be notified of the details of the final disposition of the case of a juvenile consistent with 42 Pa.C.S. §6336(f) (relating to conduct of hearings).
- Upon the request of the victim of a personal injury crime, to be notified of the termination of the court’s jurisdiction.
PLEASE NOTE: IT’S VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE VICTIM TO PROVIDE AN UP-TO-DATE ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER AND ANY OTHER REQUIRED INFORMATION TO ALL AGENCIES RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING TIMELY NOTICE OF ANY CHANGES IN THE STATUS OF THE INFORMATION. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED SHALL NOT BE DISCLOSED TO ANY PERSON OTHER THAN THE LAW ENFORCMENT AGENCY, CORRECTIONS AGENCY OR PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE VICTIM.