The Importance of a Victim Impact Statement
The Division of Victim Services is responsible for processing all Victim Impact Statements received from the various Solicitor's Offices in South Carolina and also those sent in directly from the victims of crime. The Victim Impact Statement, a recognized legal document, provides the victim with a vehicle to describe the crime and recount the extent of harm inflicted by the criminal act. A written Victim Impact Statement, filed in the offender's record at the Department of Corrections, can be a powerful voice for the victim. Make your voice heard by filing a victim impact statement!
Upon receipt of a victim impact statement or a request for registration, the request is verified and eligibility criteria are checked. A search is conducted for the correct offender, and the victim data are entered into a secure, computerized data bank. A confirmation letter is sent to the victim, and the internal victim record is established.
A registered victim, witness, or victim family member is entitled by law to be notified when the convicted offender receives a temporary, provisional, or final release from custody, or if the offender escapes from custody. The action to register is the responsibility of the person wanting notification. That person must provide the Department of Corrections with their name, address and telephone number. That information must be updated as changes occur. You must contact the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services to register for notification of parole hearings. That toll-free number is 1-888-551-4118. The Department of Corrections does not schedule or conduct parole hearings.
Who Can Register?
Victim: Victim refers to a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological, or financial harm as the result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime against that person. The term "victim" also includes the person's spouse, parent, child, or lawful representative of a crime victim who is a minor child, who is incompetent, who was a homicide victim or who is physically or psychologically incapacitated as a result of the crime. If you are not the direct victim of the crime, please provide your relationship to the victim in the appropriate space on the victim impact statement.
Witness: A witness may also register for notification if the witness is a person who has been or was expected to be summoned to testify for either the prosecution or the defense, or who by reason of having relevant information was subject to call or likely to be called as a witness for the prosecution or defense, whether or not any action or proceeding was commenced.