The Crime Victims Services Bureau provides support and information to victims, both timely and respectfully.
Victims and other persons directly affected by the criminal actions of an individual under the Department’s authority are encouraged to register with the Crime Victims Services Bureau (CVSB) in order to be notified of the following events:
The Louisiana Victim Outreach (LaVO) Program supports and empowers victims and survivors of violent offenses who are navigating the post-conviction process through education, holistic healing, and community engagement.
LaVO works to increase education about the criminal justice system for victims and survivors of crime, as well as families, community members, and service providers. Education is essential, but alone is not enough. Victims and their families have a wide range of needs which change over time, so a one-size-fits-all approach cannot adequately address the complexity of those needs. LaVO operates from survivor-centered, accountability-based, safety-driven, and equitable responses to violence. LaVO places each victim at the center of their own healing by respectfully and compassionately addressing their concerns, helping them find the resources they need to be supported, and guiding them through the often confusing and emotionally charged pardons and parole process.
If you or someone you care about has a question, would like to receive counseling or other healing services, or want to speak with someone about what to expect, please contact:
Julie Collura, MM, MSW, LMSW
LaVO Social Services Director
LaVO services are free and confidential
You can find the LaVO flyer and brochure below & also find more information at www.lavo.info
Other assistance available for victims and their families includes:
Please note: Current law enables victims of adjudicated juveniles to register when the juvenile is placed in secure institutional care. For information on that possibility, victims should contact the Office of Juvenile Justice at 225.287.7900. Victim access to information about their rights appear in the Louisiana Statutory Criminal Law and Procedure (R.S. 1841 – 1846).
Board of Pardons & Committee on Parole hearings are always open to the public, and victims/survivors have the right to attend and testify and are encouraged to do so.
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 Board of Pardons & Committee on Parole 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.View Schedules & Dockets
Pardon Board Hearings
The five-member Pardon Board holds all of its hearings at the Board’s hearing room located at the Department of Corrections’ Headquarters complex in Baton Rouge. The address is 504 Mayflower Street and guests should check in with security staff upon arrival.
Applicants who are incarcerated are not transported to meet the Pardon Board but are transported to and testify from the closest state prison or, occasionally, from a parish facility. Opponents of imprisoned people being considered by the Pardon Board are allowed to testify directly only from the Board’s hearing room in Baton Rouge, not from the facility where the imprisoned person is located. Supporters of applicants who are incarcerated may testify either from the Board’s hearing room in Baton Rouge or the facility where the applicant appears.
Pardon Board staff and correctional officers at the hearing site in Baton Rouge make every effort to make all parties comfortable, seating those with opposing views in separate areas and allowing them to leave the hearings at different intervals.
Almost all hearings by the Committee on Parole are conducted via video-conference. Three-member panels hold hearings from the Department’s Headquarters complex in Baton Rouge. Guests should check in with security staff upon arrival.
Imprisoned people are not transported to meet the parole panel but are transported to and testify from the closest state prison or, occasionally, from a parish facility. An imprisoned person’s supporters are encouraged to go where the imprisoned person is located.
Victims who are opposed to an imprisoned person’s parole release may participate in the parole proceedings at the Headquarter’s hearing room and may present testimony in person to the parole panel. Someone will be available to answer victims’ questions related to hearings.Download Victim Handbook
The submission of a victim impact statement is a voluntary right for victims of crime. The purpose of the victim impact statement is to provide parole panel members the opportunity to understand how the crime has affected you, your family, and those close to you.
The mission of the Crime Victims Services Bureau and agency staff who interact directly with victims of crime and their families is to mitigate the negative experience of victimization. Toward this end, we pledge the following:
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.
In November 1993, the Crime Victims Services Bureau (CVSB) was established at Headquarters to offer crime victims easy access to information and registration. In 1995 basic bureau functions including registration, notification, and information were added to law, and the Children’s Code was amended to include rights for victims of certain felony-grade delinquent acts. In 1997 the CVSB established a toll-free telephone number (888) 342-6110.
The Division of Probation and Parole boasts the Department’s longest history of direct service to crime victims. A basic duty of probation and parole officers has always been to interview victims in order to make their experiences and losses part of the pre-sentence, pre-parole, and other reports prepared for decision makers. Officers help the courts and the Board of Pardons and Parole set restitution and manage its payment by people under community supervision, notify victims when imprisoned people are being scheduled for parole hearings, and inform victims about registering for notification.
In the early 1990s, based on stringent new sex offender reporting requirements, the Office of Adult Services put in place mechanisms to identify and notify victims regarding the release of sex offenders whose victims were under age 18 at the time of the crime. This capability provided a base for the current, much broader program of automated victim notification letters.
The Crime Victims Services Bureau recognizes that victims must not be forgotten and we must work with all agencies in the Criminal Justice field to make a positive difference in the lives of crime victims, by affording them meaningful participation throughout the state of Louisiana’s corrections process.
Victim-Offender Dialogue (VOD) is a cautious process of preparation leading toward the possibility of a face-to-face meeting between a crime victim/survivor and the person who committed the crime. The program was created in response to recurring requests from victims to talk directly with the people who had harmed them. It is designed to be a safe way for victims and the people who harmed them to prepare for and have such a meeting.
Victim-Offender Dialogue is:
In 1999 the Legislature appropriated money to provide an automated telephone system to keep crime victims informed of key events in the movement of the person who harmed them through the justice system (e.g., arrest, bail, court hearings, sentencing, incarceration and release). The massive undertaking is managed by the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice (LCLE), with the Department of Public Safety and Corrections as one of a number of participating agencies.
The automated system is called by its acronym, LAVNS. For victims registered through the Crime Victims Services Bureau, LAVNS will eventually offer telephone notification of key events. In this way LAVNS will serve as a back up to the original system of notification letters.
Registering locally with LAVNS is NOT the same as registering with the Crime Victims Services Bureau. Presently, you must register with the Department’s Crime Victims Services Bureau in order to receive notice of a state imprisoned person’s projected release dates, actual release, and other actions noted here.