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Victim Resources FAQ

+ What happens after conviction, but before sentencing?

In misdemeanor cases, the judge usually imposes the offender's sentence immediately after conviction. The offender is expected to comply with the judge's order.

In felony cases, the judge may order a presentence report (PSR) in preparation for sentencing. The PSR takes an average of 60 days to complete, and the judge will schedule a sentencing hearing approximately 90 days after the conviction date. The judge holds the sentencing hearing with input from the DA, the defense attorney, and the victim or the victim's representative. Occasionally, witnesses also will be presented by the DA or defense attorney. The offender also is given the opportunity to speak. After all parties have spoken, the judge will impose the offender's sentence. The offender has the right to appeal the decision of the judge; however, in most cases, the sentence takes effect immediately.

+ What is a presentence report?

A presentence report or investigation (PSR or PSI) is a social history of the offender that includes prior criminal history, education, jobs, drug/alcohol involvement, and mental health treatment. It also restates the facts of the case briefly, and describes the effect of the crime on the victims. The report is prepared for the sentencing judge with copies to the district attorney and defense attorney. The presentence report follows the offender throughout his or her contact with DOC, including any future convictions for other offenses. The PSR is one of the resources used to determine the treatment needs of the offender, and also is used by the Alaska Board of Parole.

+ What happens after sentencing?

After sentencing, the offender must follow the orders of the court. The offender may go into the supervision by Probation and Parole, or go into correctional institutions to serve any period of incarceration. If there is supervision to follow incarceration, the offender is supervised by Probation and Parole on probation or parole.

+ Is there a comprehensive handbook for Alaska crime victims?

Yes, the Alaska Judicial Council has published a Handbook for Victims of Crime in Alaska (revised September 2001) which can be obtained by calling 279-2526 or by clicking on the following link: www.ajc.state.ak.us/reports/VictMan01.pdf

+ What is a victim impact statement?

The victim impact statement is an important part of the presentence report. The probation officer writing the report will contact the victim for his or her statement. This statement lets the victim tell the judge about the physical, mental, and emotional injury he or she suffered. The victim may ask for restitution and for conditions of probation to help protect the victim and his or her family. The victim may give an oral statement to the presentence investigator, or send a written statement via the Probation Officer to the judge. The victim the right to speak at sentencing in addition to making these other statements. The victim also has the right to bring a victim advocate or send one to speak for them if they are not able.

+ How do I get notification of an offender's release?

If you have requested that DOC notify you in writing, you will receive a notice prior to the inmate's release, unless there is a court action that reduces the offender's sentence. There are two victim notification programs available to you through DOC. Click here for more information.

+ What should I do if I receive unwanted contact from the offender?

You should call the Department of Corrections, Victim Service Unit as soon as possible toll free number at 1-877-741-0741 or after hours at 907-269-0922 and we will assist you. You can also contact the facility the offender is located at and advise them of the undesired contact. If the offender is on probation supervision, you can call their probation officer for assistance. Call your local police if the offender is not under the supervision of DOC.

+ How do I update my address if I move?

Contact the Department of Corrections, Victim Service Unit at the address or phone number provided below, or use the Online Form.

+ How do I contact the DOC Victim Service Unit?

Victim Service Unit
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1800
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3558

Phone: 907-269-7384
Toll Free: 877-741-0741
Fax: 907-269-7382

+ Who should I contact about problems with restitution?

If the offender is a felon on Probation/Parole, contact the Probation Officer supervising the defendant in your case, or contact the Criminal Justice Tech. in the statewide Victim Service Unit, at 1-877-741-0741. Contact the Department of Law District Attorney office if the offender was convicted of a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

+ What is Probation?

When an offender is sentenced for a felony offense, the judge can order the offender be placed on probation supervision in the community, after release from incarceration, with a series of behavior/performance conditions. These conditions are supervised by Probation Officers.

+ What is Parole?

Parole lets the offender serve the last part of a sentence in the community supervised by a parole officer. Rather than releasing inmates without controls, parole provides the gradual reintegration on the offender into the community, subject to conditions set by the Parole Board. There are two types of parole: discretionary parole and mandatory parole. (Parole descriptions are from the Handbook for Victims of Crime in Alaska published by the Alaska Judicial Council.)

+ What is Discretionary Parole?

To receive discretionary parole, an offender must complete one-third of his or her sentence and receive the approval of the Parole Board - an independent agency that is part of the Department of Corrections. Statutes set out basic criteria for eligibility, but the five citizen members of the Board decide whether or not an offender can actually be released. When making their determination, the Board considers the seriousness of the offense, the offender's criminal record, adjustment and treatment while incarcerated, and an offender's future plans.

The Parole Board also considers the crime's impact on the victim and the victim's future safety. Victims and survivors are notified of all discretionary parole hearings, unless they do not notify the Department of Corrections of any change of address. The victim may express feelings and concerns to the Board in writing or testify before the board in person. To ensure registration to receive notification of future Parole Board hearings for felony offenders, victims should contact the Department of Corrections Victim Service Unit at the following address and/or telephone number:

550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1800
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3558
Phone: 907-269-7384

Victims and survivors can also receive notification on the custody status of an offender through the VINE automated victim notification service or by calling the VINE line at 1-800-247-9763 or go online at http://www.vinelink.com. This service does not provide victims notification of future Parole Board hearings.

+ What is Mandatory Parole?

Mandatory parole means that offenders earn early release from prison or jail by accumulating "good time," days credited for good behavior while in prison. The law requires DOC to deduct good time from the sentence imposed: one day for every two days served. If offenders do not lose their good time through misbehavior, the Department releases them after they serve two-thirds of their sentences. Good time helps the Department manage prisons because it gives offenders a reason to cooperate with institutional rules. Although the Parole Board cannot refuse to release an offender who has earned good time, it can impose release conditions to control the offender and protect public safety. The Parole Board holds revocation hearings if the offender does not comply with the conditions.

See the Parole Handbook published by the Alaska Board of Parole.

+ What is the difference in Alaska between a probation officer and a parole officer?

A parole officer is a probation officer assigned to supervise parolees. In other words, the employee is a parole officer when supervising parolees, and a probation officer when supervising offenders on probation. A probation/parole officer is is responsible for all supervision activities involving or relevant to a defendant who is on probation or parole. If an offender violates conditions of parole, the parole officer takes the offender to the Parole Board for sanctions. If the offender violates conditions of probation, the probation officer takes the offender to the Court for sanctions.

+ How long can a felony offender be on probation in Alaska?

Normally a probationer is on probation for five years, but the time period can be extended to a maximum of ten years.

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