State of New Jersey
       
Department of Corrections
"Protecting Public Safety by Changing Offender Behavior"
Commissioner
                         Marcus O. Hicks, Esq.
NJDOC

Office of Victim Services (OVS)

The Office of Victim Services (OVS) is devoted to protecting the rights of victims of crime and assisting them in obtaining meaningful services and locating appropriate resources throughout the community while being sensitive to the needs of victims.

The Office of Victim Services further provides timely information and services aimed at enhancing and improving the victim's knowledge of New Jersey's correctional system.

Traditionally, the needs of crime victims have gained greater emphasis in correctional organizations throughout the nation through the post-sentencing phase. Historically, the focus of victim services was placed on the trial and sentencing phases. Federal laws have begun to expand the scope of victims' rights by addressing victim notification, victim impact statements, protection, and restitution throughout the correctional process. To this end, the New Jersey Department of Corrections specifically established the Office of Victim Services (OVS) in the year 2000 in order to strengthen the Department's role in responding to the needs of victims of crime.

If more information is needed, you may contact OVS directly and a staff member will be available to assist you with such requests. OVS staff is available to assist victims in locating appropriate resources throughout the community.

Q: Am I entitled to receive restitution from the offender (s) who committed a crime against me?
A: You are entitled to receive restitution if it is ordered by the judge at the time of sentencing.

Q: I have been receiving threats or unwanted contact from an inmate. What can I do?
A: You may call or write to the following contact to express your concerns in order for the matter to be further investigated:

New Jersey Department of Corrections
Office of Victim Services
P.O. Box 863
Trenton, New Jersey 08625
(609) 292-4036 Ext 5299 or toll free in NJ (800) 996-2029

Q: How can I locate information regarding an inmate's location, status, and sentencing information who is in the custody of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC)?
A: The NJDOC operates a web site that provides information on the offender's status, location, release dates, and sentence.

To access the "Offender Search" web site, click here.

Q: If I am notified by the Prosecutor's Office that an inmate is eligible for community release, what can I do?
A: You can forward your comments in writing regarding the release of an inmate into a community setting to the Office of Victim Services. The New Jersey Department of Corrections, Division of Programs and Community Services, has established a Residential Community Release Program Notification Committee that meets to address concerns expressed by victims regarding the potential release of an inmate into a community program.

Q: What other resources can I be provided with as a victim of a crime?
A: OVS staff is available to assist victims in locating appropriate resources and making referrals throughout the community. OVS maintains a directory of victim related resources/services throughout the state, along with national victim support agencies. OVS collaborates with various state and local agencies and organizations in order to establish a network of services for victims

The New Jersey Department of Corrections acknowledges the need for inmates to recognize the impact of their crime(s) on victims and the community. To educate inmates and provide greater understanding and awareness about the harm they have inflicted, as well as to prevent future destructive behavior, the New Jersey Department of Corrections offers a voluntary victim-impact program entitled, Focus on the Victim, which employs restorative justice principles as its main focus.

Focus on the Victim seeks to provide inmates with the opportunity to examine the impact of crime through the process of group discussion/interactions, videos, experiential learning activities, and presentations by guest speakers. One of the most significant aspects of the Focus on the Victim Program is the personalizing of the crime and its effect on the victims. To enforce this, the Focus on the Victim Program supplements the victim impact curriculum by utilizing the experiences and expertise of local crime victims, secondary victims and victim service professionals throughout the community as guest speakers for group presentations.

Throughout this 14 week voluntary program, inmates have the opportunity to explore the impact of crimes ranging from property crime, assault, hate-bias crime, domestic violence, sexual assault, drugs, child abuse, elder abuse, and homicide. Additional concepts of restorative justice, making amends, and recognizing the impact of crime on the family structure are covered. To date, more than 3000 inmates throughout 12 NJDOC correctional institutions have graduated from the Focus on the Victim Program.

  • Assist victims with concerns related to offenders ordered to the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
  • Provide support for all affected individuals of crime (i.e., family and community members), and act as a referral agent to assist victims in obtaining resources.
  • Collaborate with local, state, and federal agencies in order to increase awareness of victims' issues throughout the community.
  • Assist victims relative to the Department's community release process.
  • Offer a Victim-Impact Program entitled "Focus on the Victim" (FOV) to offenders assigned to New Jersey's adult state correctional institutions. The FOV Program seeks to raise the offender's understanding and awareness of the long-term impact of his/her actions on victims of crime and society as a whole. Facilitated by trained staff members, the FOV Program outlines the impact of crime on victims, communities, as well as the victim's family members.
  • Volunteer Guest Speaker Network - One of the most significant aspects of the Focus on the Victim Program is the personalizing of the crime and its effect on victims, families, and the community. To enforce this message, the FOV Program provides the opportunity for victims/survivors, secondary victims, and victim service professionals to speak directly to inmates participating in the FOV Program about the significant impact that crime has on victims.
  • For more information concerning our Volunteer Guest Speaker Network, please contact us at (609) 292-4036 Ext, 5299 or 1-800-996-2029.

Contact Information

New Jersey Department of Corrections
Office of Victim Services
P.O. Box 863
Trenton, New Jersey 08625
(609) 292-4036 Ext. 5299
or toll free in NJ (800) 996-2029
fax (609) 984-4635



Resources for Victims
New Jersey State Parole Board Victim Services 609-292-4582
State of New Jersey Victims of Crime Compensation Board (VCCB) 877-658-2221 (toll free in NJ)
New Jersey State Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy 609-376-2438 and 609-376-2444
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Domestic Violence Hotline 800-572-SAFE (7233)
Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADD 1-877-6233-4357 or 877-MADD-HELP
New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault Hotline 800-601-7200
New Jersey's Crime Victim's Law Center 973-729-9342
NJ Division of Women 609-888-7164