Louisiana Crime Victims' Rights
Under Louisiana legislation (R.S. 46:1844), victims of certain crimes (or the attempt of those crimes) are granted specific rights during all phases in the criminal justice system. To learn what rights you may have as a victim of a crime in Louisiana, go to www.legis.state.la.us or contact one or more of the following:
During the Investigation:
Victim Assistance at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office:
(337) 236-5657 ext. 31
The law enforcement agency having custody of those accused or convicted of offenses listed in Louisiana R.S. 46:1842(9) shall notify properly registered victims of an accused person’s or a defendant’s arrest, release on recognizance, posting of bond, release pending charges being filed, release due to charges being rejected by the District Attorney’s Office, escape, or re-apprehension.
During the Prosecution:
Victim Assistance at the District Attorney’s Office (15th Judicial District):
Properly registered victims shall be provided reasonable notice of judicial proceedings relating to their case. Upon conviction, the victim registration form shall be included in the paperwork sent to the Department of Public Safety & Corrections, the law enforcement agency having custody of the defendant, or the division of Probation & Parole.
If the offender is incarcerated with the Department of Public Safety & Corrections:
Victim Assistance with Department of Corrections:
The Crime Victims Services Bureau (CVSB) was established in 1993 as a single point of contact for victim registration and information about victim issues and related legal, policy, and program matters. Victims and other persons directly affected by the criminal actions of an individual under the Department’s authority are encouraged to register with the CVSB in order to be notified of the following events:
- Initial housing location and projected release dates
- Court ruling affecting length of sentence
- Scheduled hearing before the Parole or the Pardon Board
- Escape from institutional custody and apprehension
- Assignment to work release
- Placement on a Risk Review docket
- Release from prison by any means, including death
To register, victims may download and mail the Department’s Victim/Witness Notification Request Form or call the CVSB’s toll-free number: 888-342-6110.
** The law enables victims of adjudicated juveniles to register when the offender is placed in secure institutional care. For information about that possibility, victims should contact the Office of Juvenile Justice at 225-287-7900.
Other assistance available through the Crime Victims Services Bureau:
- Current photograph of offender (may be requested by registered victims within three months of an offender’s earliest projected release date)
- Access to information included in the offender’s post sentence report (limited to direct victims or a formally designated other person, who has completed the official Louisiana Victim Notice & Registration Form promulgated by the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement)
- Help in halting unsolicited communications from offenders**
- Names and telephone numbers for institutional contact persons, who can answer victims’ questions about a particular institution
** Offenders assigned to state correctional facilities are forbidden by policy and by rule from initiating contact with their direct victims or victims’ family members. A 2008 law prohibits offenders sentenced for crimes of violence, as defined in La. R.S. 14:2(B), and their families from communicating with the victim of their offense or any of the victim’s immediate family members. Violation of law carries the possibility of fine and imprisonment. Anyone needing to report a violation may contact the Crime Victims Services Bureau.
If the offender applies for parole or a pardon:
Parole Board and the Pardon Board hearings are public, and victims/survivors have the right to attend and testify.
Law requires that written notice of both parole and pardon hearings must be mailed to victims no less than thirty days prior to the hearing date. If victims do not receive adequate notice, they may ask that the hearing be rescheduled.
Law also provides that victims may testify before the Parole Board and the Pardon Board by telephone from the office of the local district attorney. Arrangements need to be made in advance. Victims may contact the appropriate board or their district attorney’s office about this matter.
Both Parole and Pardon Board dockets and docket outcomes are posted on the Department’s website (www.doc.la.gov).
East Jefferson DistrictFeliciana
West Baton Rouge