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Focusing on a Brighter Future

The Office of Victim Services


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The Office of Victim Services (OVS), Connecticut Judicial Branch, is the state's lead agency established to provide services to victims of violent crime.

OVS is located at 225 Spring St., Fourth Floor, Wethersfield, Connecticut and can be reached via e-mail at OVS@jud.ct.gov or by calling:
Contact Us Phone Toll-free
Administration 860-263-2760 800-822-8428
Services

860-263-2760

800-822-8428

Compensation

860-263-2761

888-286-7347

 Telecommunications Relay Service
TDD/TT Users:
Call 711 or 1-800-842-9710
Voice Callers:
Call 711 or 1-800-833-8134
The vision of the Office of Victim Services: Connecticut will be a state where all victims of crime are treated with respect and fairness and will receive comprehensive, coordinated, and victim-centered services.
The Judicial Branch of the State of Connecticut complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you need a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, contact a Judicial Branch employee or an ADA contact person listed at www.jud.ct.gov/ada/.

 

Quick Links

CT SAVIN - Victim Information and NotificationThis CT SAVIN Web site is funded in whole or in part through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).
Victim Services Frequently Asked Questions

Preguntas frecuentes


General Information
  1. What services does the Office of Victim Services (OVS) provide?
  2. What services are available to crime victims through community-based non-profit agencies?
  3. What are other related Internet websites that may be of interest to crime victims?
  4. What is the Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Program/Fund? (PDF)
Victim Rights
  1. What rights do crime victims have?
  2. How can I recover financially from the crime?
  3. How can I receive information about an inmate’s status?
Court-Based Victim Services Advocates
  1. Is there someone available to provide information and assistance during the court process?


General Information

1. What services does the Office of Victim Services (OVS) provide?

The Office of Victim Services provides:

(to learn more about a particular service, please click on that service)

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2. What services are available to victims through community-based non-profit agencies?

OVS contracts with non-profit and public organizations to provide services to crime victims. These services include, but are not limited to, information and referral, criminal justice support/advocacy, therapy, safety planning, group treatment/support, personal advocacy and assistance in filing applications for victim compensation.

Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, Victims of Crime Act Victim Assistance Program, the Connecticut General Fund, and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.

The organizations listed below receive one or more OVS contracts for direct services. If your agency is interested in learning about future funding opportunities, please check the Bid Opportunities section of the Judicial Branch web page.

 

3. What are other related Internet websites that may be of interest to crime victims?

 

4. What is the Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Program / Fund? (PDF)


Victim Rights

5. What rights do crime victims have?

Victims of crime have certain rights defined by Connecticut and federal laws. Among these rights are notification, attendance at court proceedings, compensation/restitution, and access to information.

 

6. How can I recover financially from a crime?

Crime Victim Compensation
OVS manages the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund to assist crime victims in recovering from the financial and emotional impact of the crime. This Fund supports the OVS Compensation Program that provides reimbursement and financial assistance for expenses related to the crime, such as medical, dental, counseling, and lost wages. The Program does not provide financial assistance for any non-economic loss, including property loss, property damage, and pain and suffering. Learn more about crime victim compensation.

Connecticut Department of Social Services
The Department of Social Services (DSS) administers programs with varying eligibility requirements that provide general assistance, burial, and medical benefits. For information on these and other services, please contact the Information and Referral toll-free number at 800-842-1508, TTD: 800-842-4524, or visit the Department of Social Services website. External Link

Insurance
Many private insurance companies, such as your employer, family members’ employers, unions, life insurance policies, credit card and bank insurance policies, and other insurance sources, may cover part of the crime victim’s cost of recovery.

Restitution
Restitution is payment by the offender to the victim to cover some or all of the costs associated with a crime. It is ordered by a judge and usually paid through the Court Support Services Division, Connecticut Judicial Branch. To request restitution in a criminal court case, contact the State’s Attorney Office or the OVS victim services advocate located in the court where the criminal case will be prosecuted.

Social Security Administration
Victims or their family members may be eligible for survivor benefits, Medicare, and other social security benefits. For more information, please call the Social Security Administration (SSA) toll-free at 800-772-1213, TTD: 800-325-0778, or visit the Social Security Administration website.External Link

Workers’ Compensation Commission
Available to employees through their employers, workers’ compensation provides wage replacement benefits and medical treatment for injuries that occurred in the workplace or on company property. For more information, please call the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) toll-free, in Connecticut only, 800-223-9675 or visit the Worker's Compensation Commission website.External Link

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7. How can I receive information about an inmate’s status?

OVS operates a Notification Program that offers these services:

  • The State of Connecticut's Protection Order Registry Notification Program features automated notification to protected parties when protective orders terminate or five weeks prior to the expiration of restraining orders. An OVS victim services advocate is available to answer questions and provide referrals that may arise from the notification of the order termination. For more information, please call OVS at 800-822-8428, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • The Post-Conviction Notification Program offers information about changes in the status of convicted inmates. This may include the dates and locations of:
    • Parole hearings*
    • Sentence review*
    • Sentence modification
    • Discharge from a correctional institution
    • Parole release
    • Halfway house release
    • Transitional supervision release
    • Pardons hearings

* By statute, victims have the right to make a statement at hearings before the Board of Pardons and Paroles and Sentence Review Division. In lieu of attending a hearing, the victim may submit a written statement. For further information, please call OVS at 800-822-8428, Board of Pardons and Paroles at 800-303-2884, or Sentence Review Division at 860-263-2735.

The Post-Conviction Notification Program does not provide information regarding furloughs, non-convicted persons, or convicted persons sent to state hospitals for mental illness.

Persons who may request notification are:

  • Crime victims
  • Parents/guardians
  • Relatives of crime victims
  • Legal representatives of crime victims
  • Inmate family members
  • State's attorneys

To register for notification please complete the Confidential Request for Notification of Status of Inmates. All requests are confidential. Each registrant is responsible for notifying OVS of telephone and/or address changes. For more information, please call OVS at 800-822-8428, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

The Department of Correction (DOC) Victim Services Unit also operates a confidential victim notification program that provides notification when an inmate is released, escapes, or is scheduled for a sentence review or parole hearing. To learn more about the DOC notification program, please contact the DOC Victim Services Unit at 888-869-7057 or visit the Department of Correction website.External Link

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Crime Victim Compensation

Crime Victim Compensation is a program administered by OVS that assists eligible crime victims recover from the financial impact of the crime. The Compensation Program may only reimburse for certain crime-related expenses that are not covered by any other source such as medical insurance.

An application for victim compensation should be filed with OVS within two years of the date of the personal injury or death; however, a waiver is possible in certain circumstances. (Filing an application with OVS does not guarantee that you will receive a compensation award.)

Who May Apply for Compensation

  • A victim of an eligible crime who received physical injury or death or was physically injured while assisting police during a crime
  • A relative* or designated decision maker of a homicide victim
  • A relative* of a sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse victim
  • A child who witnesses domestic violence and is not related to the victim
  • A person who is blind or has a disability and owned or kept a guide or assistance dog that was injured during a crime

Eligibility Requirements

  • The crime was reported to the police within five days or in the case of a sexual assault, a sexual assault medical examination and evidence collection was completed or the victim of a sexual assault told certain medical and mental health providers or advocates about the sexual assault.
  • The victim’s behavior must not have contributed to the criminal incident.
  • The victim must have suffered personal injury or death as a result of the incident.
  • The personal injury victim must cooperate with police and other law enforcement agencies in their efforts to apprehend and prosecute the offender(s).
  • Other sources of payment do not cover all eligible costs.
Crimes that are eligible
  • Assault
  • DUI
  • Hit and run
  • Murder
  • Robbery with injury
  • Sexual assault

Crime related expenses that may be compensated include:

  • Medical and dental costs related to the crime.
  • Medical costs for injuries incurred during the commission of a crime to the guide or assistance dog of a blind or disabled crime victim.
  • Counseling for victims of personal injury, sexual assault, and child abuse.
  • Counseling for relatives* of victims of sexual assault and child abuse.
  • Counseling for relatives* of victims of domestic violence.
  • Counseling for non-relative children that witness domestic violence up to $2,000
  • Counseling for relatives* and designated decision maker of a homicide victim.
  • Lost wage reimbursement to victims of personal injury crimes, including overtime and self-employment income to cover salary loss due to absence(s) related to the crime. This does not include attendance at court proceedings.
  • Lost wage reimbursement to attend court proceedings for relatives* and the designated decision maker of a homicide victim.
  • Loss of support for dependents and the designated decision maker of a homicide victim.
  • Funeral costs up to $5,000.
  • Crime scene cleanup up to $1,000.
What expenses are not covered
  • Property loss
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Attorney fees
  • Any non-economic loss

How much can be paid

You may fill out the below applications online, but you must print the application to sign it. Applications that are not signed will be returned. You may mail, fax, or email the completed, signed application to the Office of Victim Services, 225 Spring Street, 4th Floor, Wethersfield, CT 06109; Fax: 860-263-2780; Email: OVS@jud.ct.gov.

Up to $15,000 in reimbursement for expenses related to an eligible personal injury claim.

Up to $25,000 in reimbursement for expenses related to an eligible homicide claim.

Up to $2,000 in reimbursement for counseling expenses to an eligible non-relative child witness.

For more information about the Compensation Program, please call OVS at 888-286-7347 or 860-263-2761 or by e-mail at OVS@jud.ct.gov.

*All references to relative refer to this definition found in Connecticut General Statutes § 54-201(4) as “the spouse, parent, grandparent, stepparent, child, including natural born, step and adopted, grandchild, brother, sister, half brother, half sister or spouse’s parents.”

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Services for Families of Homicide Victims

OVS offers support to families of homicide victims through referrals to counseling, educational groups, and self-help groups.

  • Family members of homicide victims may receive a limited number of grief counseling sessions at no cost. OVS contracts with agencies that provide counseling services.
  • OVS may refer families and friends of homicide victims to a topic-specific educational support program, which supplements counseling.
  • OVS may provide referrals to self-help groups. These groups are organized and conducted by group members themselves. They offer support and understanding to friends and families coping with the loss of a loved one.
     
For more information, please call toll-free 800-822-8428, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Community Education and Training on Victims’ Rights and Services

OVS serves and supports crime victims by educating the community about and promoting awareness of the rights and concerns of Connecticut’s crime victims and of OVS services. OVS staff provides trainings and presentations to criminal justice system professionals and the victim assistance community.

OVS also maintains a Victim Assistance Center, which is a central repository of crime victim rights and resource information. For more information, please call 800-822-8428, Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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The Gail Burns-Smith Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE) Program

The OVS Gail Burns-Smith Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE) Program provides timely, compassionate, patient-centered sexual assault forensic examination services to victims of sexual assault, 13 years or older, who go to a participating hospital within 72 hours of the assault:

Participating Hospitals
  • Hartford Hospital
  • The Hospital of Central Connecticut (New Britain campus)
  • Manchester Memorial Hospital
  • Middlesex Hospital
  • Saint Francis Hospital
  • Windham Hospital

A Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) is a nurse or doctor who has specialized training and education in evidence collection. They have specialized knowledge of legal issues such as chain of custody and courtroom testimony and are trained in sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and medications.

SAFEs are healthcare providers who help other healthcare providers decide which STI tests and medications should be given in sexual assaults. They also help in the care of sexual assault related injuries, discharge, and referrals.

SAFEs work closely with sexual assault victim advocates, hospital staff, law enforcement, and criminal prosecutors to provide victims of sexual assault with comprehensive and compassionate services.

For more information about the SAFE Program, please call OVS toll-free at 1-800-822-8428.

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Court-Based Victim Services Advocates

8. Is there someone available to provide information and assistance during the court process?

OVS court-based victim services advocates help victims of violent crime by notifying them of their rights and by providing information and assistance. OVS victim services advocates are available in many of the courthouses throughout the state. View a contact list of court-based victim services advocates.

OVS Victim Services Advocates:

  • Notify victims of their rights
  • Provide information to the victim about the criminal case and criminal justice system
  • Act as a liaison between victims and court personnel
  • Escort victims and their family members to court proceedings
  • Advocate for victims during court proceedings
  • Assist victims with the return of property
  • Provide victims with social service referrals
  • Assist victims in submitting requests for restitution
  • Assist victims and their family members in preparing and delivering a victim impact statement
  • Coordinate victim compensation applications to OVS

OVS Helpline

OVS operates a toll-free helpline to assist callers in obtaining information on OVS programs and services as well as referrals to various agencies that assist victims of crime and their families.

The OVS victim services advocate assigned to the helpline assists victims whose cases are heard in a court that does not have an OVS court-based victim services advocate. Assistance may include informing victims of their rights and of upcoming court dates as well as helping victims understand the criminal justice system. For more information, please call OVS at 800-822-8428, Monday- Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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