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  • Office of the Victim Advocate (OVA)

    The Office of the Victim Advocate (OVA) was created by the Victim Advocate Law, Act 8 of the 1995 Special Legislative Session on Crime. The purpose of the Victim Advocate is to represent the rights and interests of crime victims before the Board of Probation and Parole and the Department of Corrections. In addition, the Office of the Victim Advocate also provides notification to crime victims of the potential for inmate release and opportunity to provide testimony, notification of the inmate’s movement within the correctional system, referrals for crime victims to local programs, basic crisis intervention and support, general information on the status and location of the inmate as allowed by law, and notification of the expiration of an inmate’s maximum sentence or date of execution, if applicable, as well as preparation of a victim who chooses to witness an execution.

  • Welcome Message from The Office of Victim Advocate

    Welcome to the Office of the Victim Advocate (OVA) website. OVA’s services are grounded in two separate but equally important foundations. First, Pennsylvania’s Crime Victims Act legislates post-sentencing rights and services for victims of crime in the Department of Corrections and the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. Second, the voices of victims have provided the inspiration and the framework for the development of the operations of the OVA and all of its program offerings.

    OVA was established in 1995 and diligently continues to provide victims of crime with notifications, support and advocacy services. Victim Assistance Coordinators on staff at OVA work with local advocates at County District Attorneys Offices and community based victim programs to ensure that all victims of crime who have requested post-sentencing services, receive the compassionate and individual attention and advocacy that they require. Working in partnership with the Department of Corrections, the Board of Pardons, and the Board of Probation and Parole, OVA has strived to develop and maintain a parallel continuum of victim-centered services. An example of the variety of services offered by OVA, in addition to victim input and notification, include services to victims choosing to witness an execution, curriculum development for the educational programs “Impact of Crime Classes” and “Victim Awareness” for inmates; and a Dialogue Program for victims of violent crime. Also, OVA’s Address Confidentiality Program enables victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking to live with a higher degree of safety in their homes and communities.

    To learn more about our responsibilities, services, and informational materials, explore this website, as well as our Address Confidentiality Program website
    . Also, in order to learn about the needs, rights and services available for victims of crime, access our many links to similar victim-serving programs at the local, state, and national levels. We appreciate your interest in victims of crime as well as our services, and are hopeful that this website meets your needs.

    Carol L. Lavery
    Victim Advocate
    Office of the Victim Advocate
    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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