Victim notification is a victim's right in most states and at the federal level. State laws vary, but most states give victims or their families the right to be notified of important, scheduled criminal proceedings and the outcomes of those proceedings. These commonly include the arrest, arraignment, sentencing, release, parole, or escape of a defendant; hearing dates and times; plea negotiations; and the dismissal of charges. The right to notification is supported in most states by Victim Information and Notification Everyday.
In federal cases, notification of case events begins during the investigative stage and continues throughout the prosecution and corrections stages of a case. The right to notification for federal crime victims is supported through the Victim Notification System, a shared Web-based application involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the United States Postal Inspection Service; United States Attorneys’ Offices; the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The following resources provide information on victim notification.