In addition to the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS), there are many other organizations that provide services and support to victims/survivors.
- Government organizations (district attorney’s offices and victim witness centers)
- Nonprofit and community organizations that offer direct support to victims/survivors
We encourage victims/survivors to reach out to the organizations to find a place that feels right and can offer the support they need.
A list of organizations that support victims/survivors is available below.
The Ahimsa Collective works in collaboration with OVSRS to offer victim initiated Victim Offender Dialogues (VODs) in severe crime in any California State prison. We recruit, train, mentor, and support volunteer facilitators. Since 2018 Ahimsa has engaged in 67 VODs.
The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. Its website provides information about victim services.
The Boundless Freedom Project shares meditation, mindfulness, and movement practices; encourages healing and creativity; co-creates safe and inclusive communities (sanghas); advocates for decarceration; and supports artists, change agents, dharma practitioners, meditators, teachers, and movement facilitators interested in working in the prison system.
The Victims’ Services Unit (VSU) offers crime victims and their families support and information at every stage of the criminal process. Victims have rights, and the Attorney General is committed to ensuring that those rights are protected. The guiding principle of the VSU is to provide support, information, and assistance to victims at every stage of the criminal process. It is an essential service in empowering victims.
California Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice is a network of crime survivors joining together to create healing communities and shape public policy. Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice is building a movement to heal together and promote policies that help the people and communities most harmed by crime and violence.
Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice is a national network of crime survivors joining together to create healing communities and shape public safety policy.
The mission of the California Crime Victim Assistance Association (CCVAA) is to advocate for crime victims rights, and support and lessen trauma suffered by crime victims, witnesses, and their families.
Every county in California has a district attorney’s office that is responsible for prosecuting criminal violations of state and county law within the county. Many district attorney’s offices send an attorney to represent the “People” at parole hearings, although some do not.
District attorneys who appear at parole hearings do NOT serve as legal counsel for any victim/survivor. But many district attorney’s offices can provide information about the hearing and answer questions, and many also have personnel devoted to assisting victims/survivors.
Contact information for each of the county district attorney’s offices in California is available here.
The California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) is a three-member Board dedicated to assisting victims of violent crimes. Board members include the Secretary of the Government Operations Agency who serves as the Board’s chair, the State Controller and a public member appointed by the Governor. Board members set policy for the organization and make decisions on matters including appeals for victim compensation and claims of persons erroneously convicted of felonies.
The California Victims Resource Center is located in Sacramento, California. The Center has operated the State of California’s confidential, toll-free 1-800-VICTIMS line since 1984. McGeorge students, under attorney supervision, provide information and referrals statewide to victims, their families, victim service providers, and victim advocates. Callers receive information on such matters as victims’ compensation, victims’ rights in the Justice System, restitution, civil suits, right to speak at sentencing and parole board hearings, as well as information on specific rights of victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse, and abuse against disabled. The Center is mandated by legislation, California Penal Code § 13897, and is funded through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CAL OES).
Victim/Witness Centers help individuals navigate the criminal justice system by assisting them during court proceedings and with the filing of claims. Each county Victim Witness Center is unique in the exact services offered, so we recommend reaching out to them directly to understand what they can assist you with.
Center for Council delivers programs and trainings that promote communication, enhance well-being, build community, and foster compassion. Council is an age-old practice that involves bringing people together in a circle to bear witness and share authentically. Participants agree to speak one-at-a-time, sharing their personal stories and experiences, rather than opinions, and listening non-judgmentally while others do the same. Sharing and listening to universal stories about love, loss, fear, triumph, challenge, hope and other experiences enables participants to recognize that, despite our many differences, we have much in common.
The Crime Survivors Resources Center serves our community by promoting awareness, advocating for rights, focusing on prevention, and prioritizing healing. If you don’t know where to turn, or are confused or frustrated with the public services that are available to you as you recover or seek justice, Crime Survivors can help. All of us together can lift one another out of darkness with critical support, empowerment, resources, and information.
Since its founding in 1990, Crime Victims United’s mission has been to support and strengthen public safety, promote balance in the criminal justice system, and protect the rights of victims.
Healing Dialogue and Action brings together people wounded by violence and broken criminal justice systems. We share our stories and listen deeply with open hearts. We respond with compassion and accompany each other in healing the harm caused by violent crime. We work together to change the criminal justice system so it is one that respects and offers an opportunity for transformation for victims, offenders, and families. We are creating a world free from violence.
Healing Hearts Restoring Hope staff and volunteers are trained in conducting face to face bilingual (Spanish/English) dialogues between survivor and offender at the request of the survivor. Through OVSRS, survivors are made aware of this process and may request face to face meetings.
HelpGuide is a small independent nonprofit that runs one of the world’s leading mental health websites. Each month, millions of people from all around the world turn to HelpGuide for trustworthy content they can use to improve their mental health and make healthy changes.
I-CAN provides victims/survivors emotional support, information, resources, and referrals. We are here to listen, to support, and assist. Our services are free of charge.
Insight Prison Project offers an innovative restorative justice program, the Victim Offender Education Group, which focuses on transformational re-education. It will continue to operate and grow its transformational programs for prisoners and parolees, which are supported by crime victims and community volunteers.
Mend Collaborative understands that violence, grief, and traumatic loss impact all communities. Our mission is to provide opportunities for healing and transformation to victims and survivors of violence. Mend facilitates in-depth restorative justice processes, including:
- Victim Offender Dialogues (VOD): a process that prepares survivors and people responsible for harm to have a one-time in-person meeting. Victims and survivors may have many needs that have not been met long after the violence and harm occurred. VOD can provide an opportunity to have a conversation where these needs can be addressed. The VOD process is free, confidential, and voluntary for participants.
- Surrogate restorative justice circles (for victims and survivors to share about their experience of harm with incarcerated people).
- Days of Healing in the community and inside prisons across California for victims and survivors of harm.
To learn more about our services, including how to request a Victim Offender Dialogue, share your story with incarcerated people, or sign up to attend a Day of Healing, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website and complete our contact form.
The National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) is a § 501(c)(3) nonprofit legal education and advocacy organization based at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. NCVLI’s mission is to actively promote balance and fairness in the justice system through crime victim centered legal advocacy, education, and resource sharing.
The mission of the Restorative Justice Mediation Program (RJMP) is to reduce repeat crime and improve the lives of those affected by crime by providing victim-offender dialogue, education, and services in partnership with government, non-profit organizations, and businesses to San Diego County, based upon Restorative Justice principles and practices.
Services offered by trauma recovery centers include trauma-informed clinical case management; evidence-based individual, group, and family psychotherapy; crisis intervention; medication management; legal advocacy and assistance in filing police reports and accessing victim compensation funds; and are offered at no cost to the patient. These types of comprehensive services and assistance are intended to help people who have experienced violent crime, including patients who suffered gunshot wounds, as well as victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, and hate crimes, and those who had a family member assaulted or killed. To provide this breadth of services, trauma recovery centers utilize multidisciplinary staff members that might include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and outreach workers.