Information for Crime Victims
The New Jersey State Parole Board encourages all crime victims, including the closest relatives of victims of murder or manslaughter, to play an active role in the parole process, to ensure the appointed Parole Board Members and staff are fully informed of the victims' concerns before parole decisions are made.
Crime victims wishing to provide confidential testimony may register online with the State Parole Board or call 609-292-4582.
The State Parole Board is committed to the privacy, safety and well being of all crime victims, and deems victim information confidential. Offenders will not be notified as to whether a victim has chosen to provide testimony to the State Parole Board.
Effective July 11, 1984, when a person is convicted of a first or second degree crime, the County Prosecutor must notify the victim of that crime or nearest relative of a murder victim of their right to testify before the Parole Board prior to the inmate's parole consideration. This notification is in writing and includes a form, which the victim should use to register their interest in testifying with the Parole Board. However, regardless of the degree, all crime victims have the right to contact the Parole Board to participate in the process.
When the State Parole Board's Office of Victim Services receives the Registration Form, the agency will open a file on the case and make appropriate schedule programming. At the time of parole eligibility, the victim will be invited to submit a written statement or appear personally to testify to a Senior Hearing Officer of the Board.
If the victim elects to present testimony in person, a hearing will be scheduled for that purpose. Every effort will be made to accommodate the victim in scheduling the hearing. Most hearings will take place at the Parole Board's Office of Victim Services but in special situations such as where the victim is physically disabled it may be possible to conduct the hearing elsewhere.
The statement or testimony of the victim should include the following:
- Explanation of the continuing nature and extent of any physical, psychological, or emotional harm or trauma suffered
- The extent of any loss of earnings or ability to work suffered
- The continuing effect of the crime upon the victim's family
- Any other information that would help the State Parole Board determine the likelihood of the inmate committing a new crime, or requiring additional conditions of supervision
The Hearing Officer will then prepare a written report to the State Parole Board. The record will become a permanent part of the inmate's file. Victim statements or testimony are deemed confidential, and will only be used by the State Parole Board. The victim will not confront the inmate in person.
The State Parole Board is required to review and consider testimony from the victims in the cases of all inmates sentenced after July 11, 1984 in a first- or second-degree crime, unless victims choose not to provide testimony. For those cases in which the inmate was sentenced prior to July 11, 1984, the State Parole Board will schedule an interview for any victim who requests one. However the State Parole Board is unable to identify and contact all victims of crimes for which the sentencing took place prior to that date.
Any individual who believes they are the victim of a first- or second-degree crime for which the offender is serving a sentence in New Jersey, should contact the Parole Board's Office of Victim Services by registering online or calling 609-292-4582.
By making themselves heard through their confidential testimony, crime victims help ensure the State Parole Board will understand and acknowledge their concerns while making public safety decisions.
This information is not intended to influence your important and valuable input into the parole process. It is merely intended to provide a general understanding of the Victim Input process, and help you make an informed decision regarding your participation.