Victim Services Accordion
The Office of Victim and Restorative Justice Services (OVRJP) is a source of support, information, and services based on the principles of Restorative Justice.
The OVRJP offers ways for victims to be involved in the decisions made about an offender’s liberties within the criminal justice system.
The OVRJP is supported by the Department of Corrections Victim Advisory Council (VAC). VAC is made up of victims and victim advocates, survivors, criminal justice professionals, and interested community members.
Office of Victim and Restorative Justice Programs (OVRJP)
Mary P. Roche, LMHC - Director of the OVRJP
Madison Elbert - Victim Services Specialist
Write to us at:
Attn: Office of Victim Programs
Iowa Department of Corrections
510 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
Office phone: 1-800-778-1182
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Services available for victims of crimes include:
- Crisis intervention and advocacy throughout the corrections process.
- Help with concerns related to inmates and parolees under our jurisdiction.
- Registration and notification.
- Sex offender notification.
- Victim/offender dialogue.
The Office of Victim and Restorative Justice Programs is supported by the DOC Victim Advisory Council (VAC). The VAC membership includes victims/survivors, victim advocates, criminal justice professionals, and other interested community members. The Mission of the VAC is, "to strengthen the voice, increase the presence, and promote the interests of those harmed by crime in the policies, programs and practices of the Iowa Department of Corrections."
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Victim Advisory Council, please contact our office.
The mission of the Victim Advisory Council (VAC) is "to strengthen the voice, increase the presence, and promote the interests of those harmed by crime in the policies, programs, and practices of the Iowa Department of Corrections."
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Victim Advisory Council, please contact our office:
Office of Victim Programs Iowa Department of Corrections
Mary P. Roche, LMHC, Director, Office of Victim Services
Madison Elbert - Victim Services Specialist
510 E. 12th Street Des Moines, IA 50319
Why register with the Department of Corrections (DOC) and Board of Parole (BOP)?
So you can be notified of the following:
Parole Board interviews and Decisions
Any type of pending release from DOC custody or supervision
Escorted visits and Furloughs from one of our institutions
Escape from custody
Death of an incarcerated individual
Other unusual changes to an incarcerated person's status
How to register:
If you are the victim of an offender's current charges and want to receive notification from our Department, you need to contact the County Attorney’s Office where the crime was prosecuted and request registration. The County Attorney is the official "registrar" of all victim registrations and is responsible to ensure your registration is forwarded to the DOC and the BOP.
Please call our office at 1-800-778-1182 for information about an incarcerated person. We are here to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.
VICTIMS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS WITH ADDRESS/PHONE UPDATES and CHANGES.
Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE):
In addition to registering with the DOC and BOP, you may also want to register with Iowa VINE. This is an anonymous and automated system available to anyone interested in receiving automated notifications of an offender's movement in the system, such as movement from one institution to another or after discharge. To register with VINE, please call 1-888-742-8463 or visit the Iowa VINE website at: http://www.vinelink.com/.
IMPORTANT: If you have registered with VINE (Victim Information and notification Everyday), this does NOT mean you are registered with the DOC or the BOP. Please contact your County Attorney’s Office to become a DOC/BOP registered victim.
If you are a DOC Registered Victim, this Victim Input Statement offers you the opportunity to provide important information to Correctional Counselors while the offender is incarcerated. When offenders enter our prison system, they undergo a variety of assessments to determine where they will be housed, the types of programs they need to complete, and their plans when they are eventually released. The majority of incarcerated offenders will, at some point, be released back into society.
This Victim Input Statement is an opportunity for you to share any concerns and can be submitted to our Office of Victim Programs at any point during an offender’s incarceration.
The Confidential Victim Input Statement can be completed and provided to the Victim Services Coordinator.
VICTIM SERVICES: The Office of Victim & Restorative Justice Programs, or OVRJP, is here to provide assistance, information and support to those harmed by persons in our custody or on supervision. Call 1-800-778-1182.
VICTIM OFFENDER DIALOGUE or VOD: Sometimes, survivors of crime want to meet with the offender in their case. A face-to-face facilitated meeting is an option. VOD is a voluntary program that involves careful planning and preparation with a trained facilitator.
This program adheres to the national standards and principles for Victim-Centered VOD which can be found on the following website: www.navac.website/VOD.
OTHER FACILITATED COMMUNICATION OPTIONS: Many survivors would like to communicate, but are not interested in meeting with the offender. Our office can assist with “indirect” communication such as letter writing, or presenting a list of questions. Letters and lists of questions are then presented to the offender by a trained facilitator and feedback can be provided to the survivor.
HOW DOES THIS WORK? Anyone interested in any VOIS service or program can simply contact the Office of Victim & RJ Programs: 1-800-778-1182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IS THERE A COST? All services through VOIS are free and confidential.
MORE ABOUT VICTIM OFFENDER DIALOGUE:
Once you contact our office, a trained facilitator will contact all parties involved and assess if VOD is the best option. If all parties agree, individual preparation sessions take place until all parties feel ready, concerns are explored, and safety issues are addressed.
COMMON REASONS SURVIVORS CHOOSE VOD:
- To express the loss, trauma and other impacts of the offense directly to the offender,
- To be more fully informed about the incident, about the offender, and have questions answered.
- To experience a greater sense of healing.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS FOR OFFENDERS:
- To gain a greater understanding of the harm suffered by victims.
- To have an opportunity to acknowledge the harm, express accountability, and find out how to, potentially, “make things right.”
- To repair some of the harm caused by the offense.
APOLOGY LETTER BANK: VOD is a victim-centered program and only accepts referrals from victim/survivors. An alternative for offenders who wish to express an apology may participate in the Apology Letter Bank program. Victims may contact our office to see if the offender in their case has submitted a letter.
FOR ALL VOIS PROGRAM OPTIONS, CONTACT:
Mary Roche, LMHC – Director of Victim & Restorative Justice Programs
Waterloo Women’s Center for Change – 1515 Lafayette Street, Waterloo, IA 50703
1-800-778-1182 or 319-292-0940 or email: email@example.com
Or, contact Madison Elbert – Victim Services Specialist
515-423-6012 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about Restorative Justice, visit the following websites:
As a victim of crime, you have the right to request restitution for monetary losses related to the crime. If you are the victim of a violent crime, you may also be eligible for assistance through the Crime Victims Compensation Program (see below for more information).
Restitution must be ordered by the court. The County Attorney’s Office is responsible for submitting restitution requests to the court. Once ordered, restitution information will be given to the Clerk of Court. For offender payment plans and collection, the restitution order is overseen by:
1. The Court (for cases where the offender is sentenced to self-probation) or after the offender has been released from other forms of custody or supervision;
2. The local Department of Correctional Services (for cases where the offender is sentenced to PROBATION); or
3. The Department of Corrections (for cases where the offender is sentenced to PRISON);
If the offender is sentenced to the supervision of the Department of Correctional Services (Probation or local Residential Facility), the Probation Officer is responsible for developing a Plan of Payment within 90 days. This plan is submitted to the Clerk of Courts Office.
If the offender is sentenced to prison, the Iowa Department of Corrections is responsible for collecting restitution. Collections are deducted from allowances paid to inmates, credits to inmates’ accounts deposited from outside sources, or money earned from working while incarcerated. Inmates may earn $3.00 a day to $15.00 a day, determined by the type of job they hold. The DOC collects 20% of these monies and sends to the Clerk of Court in the county where restitution was ordered.
Crime Victim Compensation Program
If you or someone you care about has suffered personal injury from a violent crime, the Crime Victim Compensation Program may be able to help. This fund is managed through the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.
Compensation benefits may include reimbursement for lost wages, counseling, medical expenses, and other crime-related expenses.
For more information and/ or to request an application, please contact the program at 800-373-5044 or visit their website: https://www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov/for-crime-victims/crime-victim-compensation-program
The Victim Wrap Around, or VWA, is a process initiated when there are specific concerns for a victim's, or other affected person's, safety during the release process of an incarcerated person, or during a parolee's time on supervision. A VWA may also occur when an incarcerated person/parolee has leveled a threat to cause harm to someone and when the danger is imminent.
The goal of a VWA is to create a safety plan that incudes input and resources from a variety of criminal justice professionals in collaboration with a victim or the target of the threat.
A Victim Wrap Around may be initiated by:
1. The target of the threat or a member of the target's family;
2. Corrections staff;
3. Criminal justice professionals; or
4. Community victim advocates.
How do I request a VWA?
Contact the Office of Victim & Restorative Justice Programs
Mary Roche - Director of the OVRJP
Or, email email@example.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Sex Offender Electronic Monitoring and Victim Notification
Why did I receive a letter from the Department of Correctional Services?
Effective July 1, 2009 the Iowa Legislature enacted a new law, which requires that victims registered with the Iowa Department of Corrections be notified when a convicted sex offender is required to wear an electronic monitoring device: either a GPS or Radio Frequency Unit.
You received the notification letter because you are registered with the Iowa Department of Corrections, or you are registered as the parent/legal guardian of a minor child who is a victim of a sexual offense.
What is Global Positioning System or GPS?
Some people refer to GPS as an “ankle bracelet.” It is a device using wireless satellite technology to track the movements and location of an offender in the community.
It is important to understand that a report of violation is dependent upon cellular coverage and other factors that may result in potential delays. Please do not assume that GPS monitoring will ensure your safety.
What is the radio frequency unit?
This is a landline-based system typically used to monitor whether a sex offender is at home, or any other location specified by the Department of Correctional Services. If the individual leaves the specified location, notification is sent to the Department of Correctional Services.
What is the Iowa law?
Effective July 1, 2009 the Iowa Legislature passed new laws regarding the use of GPS monitoring for sex offenders who are under the supervision of a judicial district department of correctional services;
A sex offender who is placed on probation, parole, work release, special sentence, or any other type of conditional release, may be supervised by an electronic tracking and monitoring system in addition to any other conditions of supervision;
The determination to use electronic tracking and monitoring to supervise a sex offender shall be based upon a validated risk assessment approved by the department of corrections, and also upon the offender’s criminal history, progress in treatment and supervision, and other relevant factors; and,
If a sex offender is under is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, the determination to use electronic tracking and monitoring to supervise the sex offender shall be based upon a risk assessment performed by a juvenile court officer.
In addition, new standards were established for the notification of registered victims:
A Department of Corrections representative shall notify a victim regarding a convicted sex offender concerning:
The beginning date for use of an electronic tracking and monitoring system to supervise the sex offender and the type of electronic tracking and monitoring system used, and
The date of any modification to the use of an electronic tracking and monitoring system and the nature of the change.
Whom do I contact if I have more questions?
For specific information about a registered sex offender, you may contact the judicial district Department of Correctional Services where the offender is located. Go to our website Find a Facility and click on the judicial district you wish to contact.
For more information about victim registration, you may contact:
The Office of Victim & Restorative Justice Programs
Iowa Department of Corrections
1-800-778-1182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For a listing of victim services in your area, visit the Iowa Attorney General’s website: https://www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov/for-crime-victims
Iowa Attorney General’s Office Crime Victim Assistance Division
800-373-5044 or locally 515-281-5044
Iowa Statewide Sexual Abuse Hotline
Iowa Statewide Domestic Abuse Hotline
Iowa Department of Human Services, Child and Dependent Adult Hotline
Iowa Board of Parole
866-448-4611 or locally 515-725-5761
Survivors of Homicide Support Group
Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault:
Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance:
Department of Justice Office for Victim of Crime:
National Center for Victims of Crime:
National Association of Victim Service Providers in Corrections:
National Center For Missing & Exploited Children:
Grief Recovery Institute:
Parents of Murdered Children:
Find local government offices in your state, county, and city:
SAVE THE DATE!!
The Iowa DOC's Victim Advisory Council (VAC) and the Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance (IOVA) ask you to mark your calendars for our annual crime victims' rights event:
DATE: Thursday, April 27th, 2023
TIME: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
LOCATION: Grant Room at the Iowa DOC's Central Office - 510 E. 12th Street, Des Moines
Please see the agenda for more information: 2023 National Crime Victim Rights Week Agenda Link
In honor of all Iowans whose lives were lost due to violent crime from April 2022 until April 2023: Lives Lost 2023