FAQ : Victims
- Why does OVS ask for my personal information?
Any identifying information you supply to OVS is completely confidential and protected. When calling OVS, you also have the option of remaining anonymous, but general statistical information will be requested for office funding purposes (age & city of residence).
- Why does an offenders' release date keep changing when I call?
If an offender is in custody for longer than six months, they are eligible to earn time off their sentence. For more information about earned time, please contact the OVS.
- What happened when the offender went to court?
OVS does not generally have information about court appearances. For information about court appearances, please contact the Victims of Crime Helpline (1-800-494-8100) for the appropriate referral. If you have registered for notification with RI-VINE, and the offender is released at court, you will be notified.
- Why is the offender eligible for parole so soon?
Offenders are eligible to appear in front of the Rhode Island Parole Board after they have served one-third of their sentence. (Example – Offender is sentenced to six years, they are eligible to appear in front of the parole board after they have served two years of their sentence.)
The Parole Board considers several factors when making parole decisions.
Victims have the opportunity to speak to the members of the parole board prior to the offender’s appearance. For more information, click here RI Parole Board
- I’m not a victim. Can your office help me?
OVS will not refuse service to any caller. However, because OVS is funded to assist victims of crime, it might be necessary to provide some callers with a more appropriate referral.
For purposes of OVS funding, a victim is considered the person or persons who have been legally identified as the victim (in police reports and court proceedings), as well as the victim's affected family members.
Family members and friends of the offender who are not a victim of the crime will be referred to elsewhere for assistance.
In addition to victims, OVS can assist professional service providers, law enforcement and DOC staff.
- I am receiving unwanted contact from an offender.
What should I do?
If it is an emergency situation and you are in danger, call 911.
If you are not in immediate danger, call OVS at (401) 462-5203 for assistance.