Victim Services Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is the offender having a parole hearing so soon?
The length of the offender's sentence determines the eligibility for parole hearings. Therefore, the shorter the sentence the sooner the offender will have a parole hearing.
2. Does the fact that the offender is having a hearing mean he will be released immediately?
No. The offender will either have another parole hearing scheduled or the offender will be set for a future release date. A parole hearing does not imply release is imminent.
3. When will I get the results of a parole hearing?
It normally takes the Board 8-12 weeks to make a decision. If you are registered with MOVANS you will be notified as soon as the decision is entered in the computer.
4. Why is the offender being released so soon?
Most victims believe the offender will serve his entire sentence, which is not true. In Missouri, there are two parts of a sentence, incarceration and parole supervision. Offenders who are not serving life sentences will have a conditional release date that is determined by law. The Department of Corrections must release the offender on the conditional release date. However, if the offender is a sex offender and does not complete the Missouri Sex Offender Program, the offender’s conditional release date could change.
5. Why are offenders transferred from one facility to another?
There are a number of reasons why an offender might be transferred to another facility. The offender may have been re-classified to a lower or higher custody level, he may be transferred for his own protection or he may be transferred based on the availability of programs.
6. Who in my family has the right to notification and of what events will we be notified of?
The actual victim of the crime is the only one who has the right to notification except in the case of a homicide or a minor child. In the case of a homicide RSMo. 595.200 provides for the family members to be notified and defines family members as a spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or legal guardian. The same family members have the right to notification if the victim is a minor child.
The Department of Corrections must provide the victim with notification of parole hearings, results of parole hearings, escape, death, release to the community, commutation or pardon.
7. Can I have information about the offender regarding medical condition, institutional conduct, program participation etc.?
The above information about the offender is confidential by law. The above information may only be obtained by attending the parole hearing of the offender.
8. What is MOVANS?
MOVANS stands for Missouri Victim Automated Notification System and is the automated notification system used by the Department of Corrections to provide information to crime victims about changes in the status of offenders in the department's custody. The system also provides a toll-free number that victims may call twenty-four hours a day to obtain information such as parole hearing date, where the offender is in custody, and scheduled release dates. To register for the MOVANS program the victim must contact the Office of Victim Services at 573-526-6516.
9. Why am I getting all these phone calls?
When you register with MOVANS for notification you will receive telephone calls to notify you of a change in the status of an offender. The calls will continue until you enter your Personal Identification Number [PIN that you select] to stop the calls.
10. How do I get restitution if an offender is incarcerated?
If an offender is incarcerated restitution can only be obtained by filing a civil action against the offender. The Missouri Board of Probation and Parole does not have the statutory authority to enforce orders of restitution as a condition of parole.