State of Iowa, Department of Corrections
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Offender

Victim Services
 
Iowa Department of Corrections'
Victim Services
 
Restitution Program (915.1)

The Iowa Department of Corrections began collecting restitution from inmates in 1982. These collections are deducted from allowances paid to inmates as well as from credits to inmates’ accounts deposited from outside sources. 20% of these funds are collected and sent to the Clerk of Court in the county where the restitution was ordered. The Clerk of Court sends the funds to the victims every 3 months. The Department also collects current and outstanding legal debts from certain inmates as ordered by the Federal courts.
 
  • The numbers of hours the inmates work vary due to special needs considerations, such as behavior problems, medical needs, mental health, or treatment programs.

  • Inmates may earn from $3.00/day to a small number earning $15.00/day, determined by the job they hold. 20% of any credit the inmate receives is to pay court ordered restitution to victims.
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    Victim Registration (915.12)
    County Attorneys are responsible for registering victims under Iowa Code, chapter 915.12. Registered victims are told in advance of scheduled court proceedings; receive information about the crime victim compensation program, restitution and the right to make a written or oral impact statement for consideration by the judge at sentencing. In addition, the county attorney provides registration information to other offices as necessary for notification purposes. (see also, 915.13)
     
    The following offices will be sent victim registration information if a victim chooses so:
  • Police or county sheriff: The arresting agency is required to advise a victim of the right to register with the county attorney and to provide a registration form to each victim. The county sheriff or other person in charge of a jail or detention facility notifies registered victims of: offender’s release from custody on bail and terms and conditions of the release, final release from local custody, escape from custody, and transfer from local custody to custody in another facility. (915.16)
  • Clerk of District Court: The clerk notifies registered victims of the outcome of the case in which the victim was involved and may advise them of any orders regarding custody or confinement. (915.14)
  • Department of Justice: The Department of Justice notifies registered victims of the filing of an appeal, the expected decision date and the outcome of the case. (915.15)
  • Department of Corrections: If the offender is in prison, notification of escape, death, and expected release date is given. (915.17)
  • Board of Parole: The Board will notify registered victims 30 days prior to a parole hearing and that they may attend the hearing. Victims are notified in writing regarding the results of the parole hearing. (915.18)
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    Victim Notification by Department of Corrections (915.17)
     
    Requests for notification are sent to the DOC by the County Attorney’s office. After processing the registration, the victim is sent a letter confirming the registration. Prior to release of an inmate, the victim is notified in writing by the institution staff as to the community where the offender is expected to reside.
     
    In 1995 the Department developed a policy to notify victims in certain cases of sexual assault when the perpetrator/inmate tests positive for HIV. This process includes notifying the prosecuting attorney by the Department’s Victim Services Administrator and the Health Services Director. An explanation of the test and test results are provided. A victim service provider trained in sexual assault counseling is then contacted to inform the victim or victim's parent/guardian in the case of a minor.
     
    Victims are also notified if an inmate dies or escapes from prison.
     
    VICTIMS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS WITH ADDRESS CHANGES.
     
    An 800-telephone number is available to registered victims in order to obtain direct information regarding an inmate’s movement within the system, Parole Board decisions, inmate discipline, programming, etc.
     
    Crime victims are not automatically registered. Only those who register through their County Attorneys’ offices shall receive the mandated notifications.
     

    Victim Impact Statement (915.21)
     
      1. A victim may present a victim impact statement to the court using one or more of the following methods: A victim may file a signed victim impact statement with the county attorney. This filed impact statement shall be included in the preseentence investigation report. If a presentence investigation report is not ordered by the court, a filed victim impact statement shall be provided to the court prior to sentencing.
     
       
    1. A victim may orally present a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing, in the presence of the defendant, and at any hearing regarding reconsideration of sentence.

    2. If the victim is unable to make an oral or written statement because of the victim’s age, or mental, emotional, or physical incapacity, the victim’s attorney or a designated representative shall have the opportunity to make a statement on behalf of the victim.
     
      2. A victim impact statement shall include the identification of the victim of the offense, and may include the following:
     
       
    1. Itemization of any economic loss suffered by the victim as a result of the offense. For purposes of this paragraph, a pecuniary damages statement prepared by a county attorney pursuant to section 910.3 may serve as the itemization of economic loss.

    2. Identification of any physical injury suffered by the victim as a result of the offense with detail as to its seriousness and permanence.

    3. Description of any change in the victim’s personal welfare or familial relationships as a result of the offense.

    4. Description of any request for psychological services initiated by the victim or the victim’s family as a result of the offense.

    5. Any other information related to the impact of the offense upon the victim.
     

    Presence of Victim Counselors (915.20)
     
      1. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
     
       
    1. “Proceedings related to the offense” means any activities engaged in or proceedings commenced by a law enforcement agency, judicial district department of correctional services, or a court pertaining to the commission of a public offense against the victim, in which the victim is present, as well as examinations of the victim in an emergency medical facility due to injuries from the public offense which do not require surgical procedures. “Proceedings related to the offense” includes, but is not limited to, law enforcement investigations, pretrial court hearings, trial and sentencing proceedings, and proceedings relating to the preparation of a presentence investigation report in which the victim is present.

    2. “Victim counselor” means a victim counselor as defined in section 915.20A.
     
      2. A victim counselor who is present as a result of a request by a victim shall not be denied access to any proceedings related to the offense.
     
      3. This section does not affect the inherent power of the court to regulate the conduct of discovery pursuant to the Iowa rules of criminal or civil procedure or to preside over and control the conduct of criminal or civil hearings or trials.
     

    Scales of Justice
    Iowa