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Victim Impact Statement

A Victim Impact Statement is written or verbal information from the crime victims about how the crime has affected them. Victim Impact Statements are used at Sentencing and Parole.

The Victim Impact Statement is the crime victim’s story of how the crime affected his or her life, how life was before the crime compared to after the crime, and how the crime has impacted other people. The Victim Impact Statement may include:

  • Details of physical impact, like injuries, disfigurement, disability, ongoing medical treatment and rehab
  • Details of emotional and psychological impact, like feelings of guilt, anger, fear, anxiety, depression, loss of trust, safety or security concerns, insomnia, nightmares, counseling, substance abuse
  • Details of financial impact, like medical bills, counseling expenses, transportation costs to medical and court appointments, loss of income
  • Details of lifestyle, family, or social impact, like changes in routine, childcare, divorce, no longer participating in events or activities, no longer driving, no longer working, forced relocation
  • A statement about what outcome the crime victim would like and why
  • Photographs (these are not returned)

A Victim Impact Statement should not include profanity or threats to the defendant or court personnel.


Pre-Sentence Report

Prior to sentencing, the Department of Probation prepares a pre-sentence report for the judge. The Judge takes the Victim Impact Statement into account when deciding the disposition of a case. The investigation unit of the Department of Probation usually contacts the crime victims to find out how the crime impacted their lives. This written report becomes part of the Probation Department’s investigation and report to the court. A crime victim can write his or her own statement or the Department of Probation can write the information into the report. Victim Impact Statements are seen by the Judge, prosecutor, defense attorney and probation officer.

 

Parole Board

A Victim Impact Statement is also used by the Parole Board when deciding whether to release the inmate from prison. A crime victim can submit a written or recorded statement. For more information, visit the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

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