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770 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43222
or toll free
|If you are a victim of a crime and would like to register for notification regarding an Ohio inmate, please complete the Victim Notification form. Upon receipt of your notification form, the Office of Victim Services will process your request and you will receive a confirmation letter.|
|Enter your information online and print
a copy for your records.
|Print a blank Victim Notification Form,
complete by hand and mail via the US Mail.
Senate Bill 160, known as “Roberta’s Law”, became effective on March 22, 2013. Roberta’s Law expands victim notification rights enumerated in Ohio Revised Code section 2930.16 as they relate to certain inmate release or transfer proceedings. If the inmate is convicted of Aggravated Murder, Murder, a first, second or third degree offense of violence or is serving a life sentence, the victim will be automatically notified of specified events, regardless of whether the victim has requested notification. Roberta’s Law also provides an opt-out mechanism for those victims who do not wish to be automatically notified of certain inmate release and transfer proceedings. In order to opt out of receiving these notifications a “Victim Notification Opt Out” form must be on file with the Office of Victim Services. The signed “Victim Notification Opt Out” form can be mailed or emailed to the contact information listed below.
The Office of Victim Services
770 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 432222
Telephone (toll free) 888-842-8464
PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the registration above, victims can also register with VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) to have the most comprehensive notification services possible. VINE links county sheriff and statewide correctional facilities to make the status of offenders available 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year.
In the early 1980's, the Ohio Parole Board began notifying victims, who requested, of upcoming parole hearings. The Parole Board began involving victims and immediately recognized the value of their input into the decision-making process. This was strengthened in 1987 by Senate Bill 6, which gave victims of serious crime the right to submit a statement to the Parole Board about their experience prior to the offender's hearing. By late 1994, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction began developing a plan to provide comprehensive victim services throughout the Department. Senate Bill 2, the "truth in sentencing" bill, effective July 1, 1996, took another step forward in helping transform the criminal justice system into the victim's justice system. This bill mandates that victims have input from the time of an arrest through trial and sentencing, incarceration, and for any type of early release. Senate Bill 2 also formally created the Office of Victim Services within the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, strengthening the plans already developing within the Department.[Back to top]
The Ohio Council on Victims Justice plays an active role in the Department's efforts to improve victim services. They provide input and make suggestions for operational changes that impact victims and serve as liaisons between the Department and the constituents of Council members.
Each correctional institution and parole office has a staff assigned to serve as the "victim coordinator." These staff respond to victim issues and concerns at the local level and serve as liaisons to the Office of Victim Services.
In addition to the above services, victims of inmates incarcerated in Ohio's prisons may register with the Victim Notification Section of the Parole Board. They are notified prior to any release consideration of the inmate. At this time they may either write to the Board or personally voice their concerns in an interview with a Parole Board staff member. A "victims' conference day" is held once a month for this purpose.
The victim or designated representative wishing to provide additional statements and/or information to the Parole Board and/or Adult Parole Authority should send those documents to: Office of Victim Services, 770 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43222.
The mission of the Office of Victim Services is to work in partnerships to make a positive difference in the lives of crime victims, by affording them meaningful participation throughout the Ohio corrections process.
Victims can also register with VINE in addition to their registration with the Office of Victim Services. Registering for both systems will allow victims to have the most comprehensive notification services possible. VINE links county jails and statewide correctional facilities to make the status of offenders available 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year. Anyone may call the tollfree VINE hotline to access custody information, available in English and Spanish. Callers may also register directly with VINE to receive telephone notification of changes in custody. A live operator is available 24 hours-a-day to assist callers in accessing information or registering for notification.
For defendant custody information, to locate an offender in a county jail, state prison, or state juvenile facility, or to register for notification call 1-800-770-0192. Follow the computer prompts given by the VINE service. During registration you will be asked to provide a telephone number and select a 4-digit PIN code. The PIN is a 4-digit number chosen by you. Your PIN is used to confirm receipt of notification calls from VINE. Choose a number that is easy for you to remember and write it down.
When registering for VINE, please have the following information: offender name, inmate number (for county inmates), or institution number (for state prison or juvenile offenders).
Q. What if I'm not at home or my phone is busy when VINE calls?
A. The VINE service is designed to allow every opportunity for you to be notified. If there is no answer or the line is busy, VINE will continue to call for a minimum of 24 hours. VINE will leave a message on an answering machine but will continue to call for 24 hours or until the PIN is entered.
Q. Can I register more than one telephone number with VINE?
A. Yes, but each registration must be done separately and requires a PIN. You may use the same PIN for several registrations.
Q. Does VINE ensure my safety?
A. The VINE program is designed to provide you with quick and easy access to offender information and to assist in preparing for an offender's release. Do not depend solely on VINE or any other program for your safety.
Q. Who sponsors VINE?
A. VINE is provided by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's Office, the Buckeye State Sheriff's Association, the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and the Ohio Department of Youth Services and is funded by a Victims of Crime Act grant.