Frequently Asked Questions (Victim Services)
WHO IS A VICTIM?
A victim is a person a criminal offense has been committed against. If a person is killed or debilitated, that person’s spouse, parent, child or other lawful representative.
HOW WILL I RECEIVE NOTIFICATION ABOUT THE MOVEMENTS OR RELEASE OF AN INDIVIDUAL SENTENCED IN MY CASE?
The most effective way to be notified is to sign up for VINE. More information can be found here.
WHAT IS THE OKLAHOMA DOC'S ROLE WITH VICTIMS OF CRIMES?
The Oklahoma DOC Victim Services serves as the point of contact for victims of crime by providing information and resources to inquiries related to inmates during their time in the DOC system. The Oklahoma DOC can also help victims find helpful resources and support groups in an immediate area.
WHY HAS THE INMATE IN MY CASE BEEN MOVED TO A DIFFERENT FACILITY?
It is not unusual for the Oklahoma DOC to move inmates to different facilities. Several reasons are, but not limited to: inmate custody level, program needs, security, disciplinary issues or bed management.
CAN THE INMATE IN MY CASE CONTACT ME?
Inmates cannot make contact with individuals they have victimized. However, there is an offender apology bank, where an inmate can write a letter to a victim and the victim will be notified they have a letter from the inmate in their case. It is up to the individual whether or not they choose to read the letter.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I AM BEING CONTACTED UNWILLINGLY BY AN OFFENDER?
If you are being harassed, threatened, or are receiving unwanted communication of any kind from an offender in a DOC facility or under the supervision of DOC in the community, please contact the Victim Services Unit at (405) 425-2607. Our staff will assist you in getting the unwanted behavior stopped and assist you with necessary safety measures.
WHY IS THE OFFENDER HAVING A PAROLE HEARING SO SOON?
The length of the offender's sentence determines the eligibility for parole hearings. Therefore, the shorter the sentence the sooner the offender will have a parole hearing.
DOES THE FACT THAT THE OFFENDER IS HAVING A HEARING MEAN HE/SHE WILL BE RELEASED IMMEDIATELY?
No. The offender will either have another parole hearing scheduled or the offender will be set for a future release date. A parole hearing does not imply release is imminent.
WHY ARE OFFENDERS TRANSFERRED FROM ONE FACILITY TO ANOTHER?
There are a number of reasons why an offender might be transferred to another facility. The offender may have been re-classified to a lower or higher custody level, he/she may be transferred for their own protection or he/she may be transferred based on the availability of programs.
CAN I HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT THE OFFENDER REGARDING MEDICAL CONDITION, INSTITUTIONAL CONDUCT, PROGRAM PARTICIPATION, ETC.?
The above information about the offender is confidential by law. The above information may only be obtained by attending the parole hearing of the offender.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER AN OFFENDER IS SENTENCED?
Once the offender has been sentenced to the Department of Corrections, the male offender is sent to the reception/intake center at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center (LARC) and female offenders are sent to reception/intake at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center. He or she is assigned a DOC number, fingerprinted, photographed and given medical and dental examinations.
During the initial evaluation, staff determine and assign a security level for each offender. The security level determination is a systematic process based upon factors such as the offender’s characteristics, history and needs, criminal history, outstanding detainers and warrants, age, education and recent employment history. Background factors, such as previous terms of incarceration, prior escapes and past disciplinary problems, also effect the security assignment. As a result of the security level assessment, the offender is placed in the appropriate custody level, with appropriate supervision requirements and programming recommendations.
This process results in the assignment of the offender to a correctional institution. The offender’s security placement can change during his or her incarceration because of the length of time served, disciplinary behavior, programming and treatment progress and time of release.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF THE OFFENDER IS ON PROBATION AND/OR PAROLE?
Victims will still contact the Oklahoma Department of Corrections at email@example.com or 405-425-2607.
HOW CAN I FIND ACTIVITIES INVOLVING VICTIM GROUPS?
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections calendar will have victim services activities posted here.
CONTACT THE OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS' VICTIM SERVICES UNIT
Phone: (405) 425-2607
Fax: (405) 425-2578