Victim Services Division
The mission of Victim Services Division is to provide a central mechanism for crime victims
to participate in the Criminal Justice System.
Our promise to victims and their families
The TDCJ Victim Services Division is dedicated to providing direct, personal service to victims and their families
throughout Texas, as well as, assisting those outside our state to the best of our ability. It is our goal to
assure victims that they are not left behind at the crime scene, but can be involved in all parts of the
criminal justice system if desired.
How to contact the Victim Services Division
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Central Standard Time)
If you are trying to contact us after business hours, please leave
a message and we will contact you as soon as possible.
Upcoming Events/New Services
- Please visit the Tree of Angels website to view ceremonies that will be held during December 2014 by clicking here.
- The TDCJ Victim Services Division is now providing two additional notifications on the warrant process for all registrants on our confidential notification database. These two notifications inform victims if an arrest warrant is withdrawn or if an arrest is made on an offender who is on parole supervision. Statutory victims may elect to receive these notifications via text message and may contact the TDCJ Victim Services Division for more information on the process. Parole Warrant Process Information.
- The 2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week is April 19-25, 2015. Please visit the TVAT Calendar to search, view or submit events in your area.
- The TDCJ Victim Services Division is pleased to announce that victims registered on our confidential database now have the option to receive notification via e-mail. Click this link to request our new e-mail notification service.
Summary of Services We Provide
Our division is organized into two sections, Notification and Programs. A summary of these sections is provided below.
The Victim Notification System (VNS) utilizes a confidential database to provide registrants with notifications regarding offender(s). Notifications are available via e-mail, letter or both. The system provides over 80 points of possible notification, regarding several phases of an offender's incarceration and the parole review process. Once an individual is added to the VNS, they will receive a confirmation letter with two brochures that further explain our services.
If you are a victim of a crime, surviving family member, witness or concerned citizen, and would like to register for notification on an offender, who is in TDCJ custody or on parole/mandatory supervision, please contact our office at (800) 848-4284 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are currently registered and would like to receive notifications via e-mail click here to request this service.
The TDCJ Victim Services Division offers text notifications for statutory victims of offenders who are on parole supervision. Statutory victims can register to receive text notifications when a warrant is issued, a warrant is withdrawn, or an arrest is made on an offender who is on parole supervision. Text notifications are time sensitive and are generated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To receive text notifications, statutory victims must register their cellular phone number with the TDCJ VSD confidential Victim Notification System (VNS). Registrants must specifically request to receive this notification even if we have their contact information on file. Registrants may easily opt-out of the text service by contacting the TDCJ VSD.
Automated Telephone Services
In addition to the written notification services, the Victim Services Division offers automated telephone services. VNS registrants can call (877) 894-8463 and enter their PIN (Personal Identification Number) to obtain limited offender information 24 hours a day in English or Spanish. If requested through TDCJ-VSD, VNS registrants can receive an automated telephone call when an offender is being processed for release. For more information, please contact our office at (800) 848-4284 or e-mail at email@example.com.
If you are registered on our Victim Notification System and receive an e-mail, letter, or phone notification from the TDCJ Victim Services Division or the Texas VINE system that you feel is in error, please contact us at (800) 848-4284, (512) 406-5900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Victim's Role in the Parole Process
Please click on the link above for instructions on how to submit protest or other information, request to meet with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles during an offender's parole review, and request special conditions of release to parole or on mandatory supervision.
Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse (TxCVC)
The TxCVC is a clearinghouse of information for victims/survivors and victim advocates. The TxCVC revises the Victim Impact Statement, collects the Semi- Annual VIS Activity Report from District and County Attorney's Offices, provides training for victim services and criminal justice professionals, produces The Victim's Informer and other informational brochures, maintains the online Resource Directory.
Victim Impact Statement
The VIS is a form for victims/survivors to complete during the trial phase. The District or County Attorney's Office handling the prosecution should provide victims with this form. If the offender is sentenced to TDCJ, the VIS should be forwarded from the courts to TDCJ in the offender's pen packet. If received and requested by victim(s)/survivor(s) on the VIS, we will add those individuals to our confidential Victim Notification System. By clicking on the title, you will find the VIS forms in English and Spanish, the Just for Kids VIS, the VIS Activity Report (to be completed by District and County Victim Assistance Coordinators) and other helpful information. To make sure current forms are being used, please check revision dates located on the bottom left corner of all VIS forms.
We are currently scheduling Victim Impact Statements: The Victims' Voice in the Criminal Justice Process training around the state. This training is free of charge and is designed for victim assistance and criminal justice professionals with statutory responsibilities for the handling of victim impact statements. This includes victim assistance coordinators in district and county attorneys' offices, prosecutors, court coordinators, district clerks, judges, probation officers, law enforcement personnel and sheriff's department staff who prepare pen packets. Please contact our staff if you are interested in requesting this free training at (512) 406-5916 or email@example.com.
The TDCJ Victim Services Division hosts a webinar series for victim services professionals. The webinars cover various topics including the Victim Impact Statement, victim sensitivity training, and other important topics. Webinar descriptions and registration information, as well as recordings and related documents for past webinars may be accessed here.
Texas Victim Assistance Training (TVAT) Online
The Texas Victim Assistance Training (TVAT) Online is a state-wide foundational victim assistance training focused on victim-centered service delivery and professional development that complements other victim services initiatives and enables new advocates to acquire baseline professional skills and competence. On the TVAT main page linked above you will find more information about the four-module training, and the TVAT Calendar, which lists additional online and in-person training opportunities throughout Texas for victim services professionals.
The TDCJ Victim Services Division publishes a variety of brochures and other publications to assist victims and advocates. To view a full listing of these publications, many of which are available as a PDF, please visit the TDCJ Publications page.
Victim Services Division brochures include Texas Crime Victims' Rights, Additional Crime Victims' Rights, VSD services, and other criminal justice and victim services information. If you would like to order any of our brochures, please complete the Online Publication Order form.
The Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse also distributes a quarterly online newsletter, The Victim's Informer. All past editions of the newsletter may be viewed by clicking here. To request to be added to The Victim's Informer email subscriber list, please complete the Online Form for Victim's Informer Mailing List. To ensure the delivery, please add our email, firstname.lastname@example.org, to your list of contacts.
Additional publications include the Crime Victim Assistance Standards - a publication developed to aid law enforcement officers and attorneys representing the State of Texas, and the Victim Impact Statement Recommended Processing Procedures, developed by the Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse as required by statute, which aims to assist local prosecutors offices with issues regarding the handling of the VIS.
Online Resource Directory
The Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse maintains s a web-based resource for victims/survivors and victim advocates who are seeking local resources. Resources are categorized by the county or counties they serve. To access the Resource Directory please follow the above link.
In January 1996, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice adopted a board rule permitting victim witnesses to view executions. For more information please follow the link above.
Victim Offender Mediation/Dialogue (VOM/D)
VOM/D is a victim-initiated and victim-centered program that allows a victim/survivor to request to meet face-to-face with the offender who is responsible for their victimization. Victims or surviving family members may consider this service for a multitude of reasons and may also request to conduct a creative alternative mediation, which are typically not face-to-face meetings.
An Offender Apology Letter Bank is coordinated by the Victim Services Division to process letters received from offenders incarcerated in TDCJ - Correctional Institutions Division to the individuals they victimized as a result of their offense. Once a letter is received, the Victim Services Division staff will determine if any no contact laws or policies prohibit the offender from contacting the victim. If there are no prohibitions regarding the contact, staff will then review the letter for appropriateness and, if deemed appropriate, will contact the victim to discuss the letter and their desire to receive or not receive the letter. The letter will only be forwarded to the victim, if the victim states they wish to receive the letter.
- Victim Assistance Resource Directory
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Victim Services Division
8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265
Austin, TX 78757-1032
Fax: (512) 452-0825
P.O. Box 13401 Capital Station
Austin, Texas 78711-3401