The primary function of Victim Services is to assist victims of crimes committed by inmates in the department's custody or under our supervision, and to notify victims prior to an inmate's release. Our office also provides referral services to victims with specific needs, such as counseling, support groups, crimes compensation, and crisis intervention. Our local number is (850) 488-9166 or toll-free: 1-877-8-VICTIM (1-877-884-2846). Please do not hesitate to contact our office for any assistance.
We understand that as a victim of a crime, your sense of safety and security may well be diminished. At the Florida Department of Corrections, we try to do all we can to make sure you have as much information as possible to help you deal with the issues you face.
Once sentenced to the Department of Corrections, the inmate will first go to a reception center for diagnostic tests and evaluations. The custody evaluation is based upon factors such as the sentence structure, outstanding detainers or warrants, age, education and recent employment history. Background factors such as previous terms of incarceration, previous escapes, and past disciplinary problems also affect the decision. The result of the evaluation is called a custody assignment.
An inmate's custody assignment is important because it determines the type of institution in which an inmate must be housed. It should be noted that an inmate's custody assignment could change over time because of length of time served, good behavior, bad behavior, etc. When the custody assignment changes, so can the inmate's location and it's possible for an inmate to be moved to a different prison. In some cases, the department will assign an inmate to an institution in the vicinity of his/her home to encourage family support.
The Department of Corrections offers a toll-free automated inmate information and notification service. Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Anyone may call the toll-free number 1-877-VINE-4-FL (1-877-846-3435), and receive an inmates current location and tentative release date. You may also register to receive an automated notification when an inmate is released, transferred, escapes, is placed in a work release facility, transferred to another jurisdiction, returned to the department's custody, or dies while in custody. The VINE Service is anonymous and confidential.
VINE is a free service, which is accessible 24 hours a day.
Note: Victims will not automatically be notified by the Department of Corrections of an inmate's custody status, unless notification information is provided to our office. However, victims can register their telephone number(s) or email address(es) for automated notification of an inmate's transfer, escape, death, out-to-court or release status by calling 1-877-VINE-4-FL (1-877-846-3435). Victims may also call our toll-free number for status updates and information, or visit our Offender Population Information Search.
To request the VINE Service, please use one of the following:
The legislature has historically provided for the award and forfeiture of gaintime to be utilized by the department as a management tool to control inmate behavior and motivate program participation. Florida statutes authorize the department to award and forfeit gaintime. There are statutory guidelines for gaintime awards based on offenses and/or prior criminal history.
For additional information on gaintime, please visit our Gaintime FAQs or call the department's Victim Services toll-free at 1-877-8-VICTIM (1-877-884-2846).
All victims of crime, relatives of minors, and/or homicide victims have a right to be notified prior to an inmate's release from prison. The department can provide written notification 30-120 days prior to the inmate's release. In the event of a court action that causes an inmate's immediate release, notification is provided as soon as possible, based on the victim's current contact information. Each State Attorney's Office is responsible for providing the most current address of the victim to the department. The victim or the victims' family should notify the department in writing, if the victim's address or telephone number changes. We can also provide automated notification if the victim is registered with our VINE Service.
If the inmate is ordered by the court to pay restitution, the department will collect on the victim's behalf, if the inmate is gainfully employed while incarcerated or under probation supervision. Please contact Victim Services if you should be receiving restitution and are not receiving payments.
If the victim or the victim's family is receiving unwanted, threatening telephone calls, or correspondence from an inmate in our custody, they should notify our Victim Services office. Pursuant to Florida Statute 836.10, written threats to do specific bodily injury or to kill constitute a second-degree felony in Florida.
Release dates and other general information about an inmate is public record. Victims may request information by writing or calling the department's Victim Services office listed in this brochure, or by visiting the department's inmate online inmate search on our public web site. Note: Victim information is kept CONFIDENTIAL per Florida law.
If the inmate who committed the crime against you is eligible for Conditional Release Supervision, we hope you will give us your input concerning how this crime has affected you and your family, any fears you have of the inmate, and/or any recommendations you may have regarding the release of this inmate. To share your concerns or recommendations, please document them in writing and send them to:
Florida Department of Corrections — Victim Services
RE: Conditional Release Supervision Victim Statement
501 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500.
These can also be faxed to (850) 488-3476 or sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To pay court ordered restitution, fines and court costs, some inmates have the opportunity to work at paid employment, either through the Community Work Release Program or PRIDE (Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises). Payments are distributed on a regular basis to victims who are awarded restitution by the court and maintain a current address with the department.
1. How much notice will I get before the inmate is released?
If we have a current address, you will receive a written notice between 30-120 days prior to the inmate's release, unless there is a court action that reduces the inmate's sentence.
2. What should I do if I am receiving unwanted contact from the inmate?
You should call the Department of Corrections - Victim Services as soon as possible at 1-877-8VICTIM.
3. How do I get notified of future court appearances or appeals?
The Office of the State Attorney in the judicial circuit where the inmate was prosecuted should inform you of judicial and postjudicial proceedings relating to your case. The Office of the Attorney General should notify you of all postjudicial proceedings that their office handles.
4. How do I update my address if I move?
Contact the Florida Department of Corrections — Victim Services at the address, telephone number, fax, or e-mail address provided below, or use the online form.
5. How do I contact the Department of Corrections - Victim Services?
For information and assistance with inmates in the custody of the department:
For information and assistance with offenders on supervision: