CRIME VICTIMS ACT - AMEND VICTIM ADVOCATE POWERS AND DUTIES, PREPAROLE
  NOTIFICATION TO VICTIM AND PETITIONS TO DENY PAROLE UPON EXPIRATION OF
                             MINIMUM SENTENCE
                  Act of Oct. 2, 2002, P.L. 839, No. 121              Cl. 44
                             Session of 2002
                               No. 2002-121

     HB 219

                                  AN ACT

     Amending the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111),
        entitled "An act providing for victims' rights; imposing
        penalties; establishing remedies; establishing the Office of
        Victim Advocate, the Bureau of Victims' Services, the
        Victims' Services Advisory Committee, the State Offender
        Supervision Fund and other funds; and making repeals,"
        further providing for powers and duties of victim advocate,
        for preparole notification to victim and for petitions to
        deny parole upon expiration of minimum sentence.

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

        Section 1.  Sections 302, 501 and 502 of the act of November
     24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111), known as the Crime Victims Act, are
     amended to read:
      Section 302.  Powers and duties of victim advocate.
        The victim advocate has the following powers and duties:
            (1)  To represent the interests of individual crime
        victims before the board, department or hearing examiner.
            (2)  To supervise the victim notification duties
        presently conducted by the board.
            (3)  To assist in and coordinate the preparation of
        [oral] testimony by the crime victims as set forth in
        sections 501(c) and 502 or the submission of oral, written or
        videotaped comments by crime victims prior to a release
        decision.
            (4)  To represent the interests of a crime victim under
        section 502.
            (5)  To act as a liaison with the victim notification
        program director in the department to coordinate victim
        notification and services for the department and the board.
        The victim advocate is authorized to address the interests of
        all victims before the board, department or hearing examiner
        concerning any issues determined appropriate by the victim
        advocate.
      Section 501.  Preparole notification to victim.
        (a)  Persons to be notified.--No later than 90 days prior to
     the parole date of an offender, the victim advocate shall notify
     the victim of the offense for which the offender was sentenced,
     the parent or legal guardian of a victim who is a minor or a
     member of the family if the victim is incapable of communicating
     or has died and shall provide the appropriate person with an
     opportunity to submit a preparole statement expressing concerns
     or recommendations regarding the parole or parole supervision of
     the offender.
        (b)  Enrollment.--A victim or member of the family is
     responsible for notifying the victim advocate of the victim's or
     family member's intent to submit a preparole statement regarding
     the parole or parole supervision of the offender. The notice
     shall include a mailing address or change of address
     notification.
        (c)  Procedure.--The victim advocate shall notify the person
     at the person's last known mailing address. The person shall
     submit the oral, written or videotaped preparole statement to
     the victim advocate within 30 days of the date of notice. The
     preparole statement shall be considered by the board during
     preparation of the parole plan.
      Section 502.  Petitions to deny parole upon expiration of
                    minimum sentence.
        (a)  Petition.--Upon the request of a victim who has notified
     the board in writing of the victim's desire to have input and
     make comment prior to a parole release decision, the victim
     advocate shall either petition the board as to the special
     conditions of release which may be imposed or that the offender
     not be paroled based upon the statement that the victim
     submitted under section 501.
        (b)  Appearance.--The victim or the victim's representative
     shall be permitted to appear in person before the board or
     hearing examiner or, in the alternative, the victim's testimony
     may be presented by conference call. The testimony of a victim
     before the board shall be confidential. Records maintained by
     the department and the board pertaining to victims shall be kept
     separate. Current address, telephone number and any other
     personal information of the victim and family members shall be
     deemed confidential.
        (c)  Action.--The board, upon petition and after an
     interview, may do any of the following:
            (1)  Order that special conditions of parole be placed
        upon the offender or the offender not be paroled based upon
        the continuing effect of the crime on the victim.
            (2)  Order that the offender not be paroled if the board
        finds that:
                (i)  the offender would pose a risk or danger to the
            victim or the family of the victim if the offender were
            released on parole; or
                (ii)  the interests of the Commonwealth would
            otherwise be injured.
        (d)  Notice.--The board shall notify the victim of its
     decision prior to a release of the offender.
        (e)  District attorney.--Notwithstanding any other statutory
     provision, the office of the district attorney of the sentencing
     county may notify a crime victim of a pending release decision
     and act on the victim's behalf or on its own initiative to
     submit comments and represent the interests of a crime victim
     before the board prior to a release decision.
        Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

     APPROVED--The 2nd day of October, A. D. 2002.

     MARK S. SCHWEIKER