Information Line: 800.872.3132 Email: Victim.Services@dys.ohio.gov
30 W. Spring St., 5th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215
How was the Office of Victim Services established?
On July 1, 1998 a new approach towards victims of juvenile crime was initiated by the Ohio legislature. House Bill 1 created a Release Authority within the Department of Youth Services (DYS). The Release Authority is required to conduct reviews and make decisions regarding the continued confinement, release, or discharge of a youth under the custody of the Department of Youth Services.
Included in this law was the creation of the Office of Victim Services (OVS). The Office of Victim Services is an important component of the Release Authority. The Office is responsible for being an effective, supportive, and informative resource for victims.
What services are available for Victims of juvenile crimes with an offender committed to DYS?
The Office of Victim Services within the Department of Youth Services will provide an initial letter with:
- Notification of the specific rights of victims of juvenile under Ohio law, including the right to designate a victim representative.
- A Victim Impact Statement to be completed by the victim or designated representative to identify the impact of the crime upon the victim;
- A Victim Notification Form (VNF), which may be completed by the victim and returned to OVS to secure the following provisions and considerations:
- Information, referral services and advocacy on behalf of the victims throughout the juvenile corrections process;
- An opportunity to meet in person, or to speak by telephone with a representative of the Release Authority;
- Information regarding the status of a youth committed to DYS institution or under parole supervision;
- Notification of upcoming reviews, releases, discharges, and revocation decisions;
- Information regarding policies and procedures of the Department of Youth Services, including the operation of the Release Authority and the Office of Victim Services;
- Referrals to appropriate federal, state, or local community resources, including victim service agencies;
- Notification of a letter of apology available to the victim, if such a letter was written by the youthful offender;
- Opportunity to meet with the offender, if requested by the victim, to participate in a victim offender mediation process; and,
- Opportunity for the victim of crime to participate in a victim impact panel and to speak directly to incarcerated youth regarding the impact the crime had on the victim.