Over the past several decades, society has come to realize that the treatment that victims receive in the aftermath of a crime can have a tremendous impact on their ability to recover both physically and emotionally. In response to this, the majority of states have passed legislation granting specific rights to victims of certain crimes.
In an effort to protect the rights of victims, Sheriff Mark T. Garber and the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office provides victim assistance through the Victim Services Program. In accordance with Louisiana law, people who are the victims of the following crimes or the attempt of any of the following crimes may be eligible to register as a victim with the State of Louisiana:
- Any Homicide:
- 1st Degree Murder
- 2nd Degree Murder
- Negligent Homicide
- Vehicular Homicide
- Solicitation for Murder
(In cases where the victim is deceased or is a minor under 18 years of age, a parent/guardian or family member may register for the victim).
- Any Felony Offense (including attempts to commit any of them) defined in R.S. 14:2(13):
- Aggravated battery
- 2nd degree battery
- Aggravated 2nd degree battery
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated assault with a firearm
- Aggravated assault on a peace officer with a firearm
- Disarming a peace officer
- Battery of a peace officer
- Aggravated flight from a peace officer
- Mingling harmful substances
- Aggravated kidnapping
- 2nd degree kidnapping
- Simple kidnapping
- Aggravated arson
- Aggravated criminal damage to property
- Aggravated burglary
- Armed robbery
- Armed robbery (use of a firearm)
- 1st degree robbery
- Aggravated 1st degree robbery
- 2nd degree robbery
- Simple robbery
- Purse snatching
- Assault by drive-by shooting
- Illegal use of weapons or dangerous instruments
- 2nd Degree cruelty to a juvenile
- Home invasion
- Any Sexual Offense (including but NOT limited to):
- 1st degree rape
- 2nd degree rape
- 3rd Degree Rape
- Sexual battery
- 2nd degree sexual battery
- Aggravated sexual battery
- Oral sexual battery
- Aggravated oral sexual battery
- Intentional exposure to AIDS virus
- Crime against nature
- Aggravated crime against nature
- Felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile
- Indecent behavior with a juvenile
- Molestation of a juvenile
- Pornography involving juveniles
- Human trafficking
- Trafficking of children for sexual purposes
- Sexual battery of the infirmed
- Video voyeurism
- Certain Vehicular-Related Incidents:
- Vehicular negligent injuring
- 1st degree vehicular negligent injuring
- Domestic Offenses:
- Domestic abuse battery
- Abuse/neglect of adults
- Domestic abuse aggravated assault
- Domestic abuse aggravated assault child endangerment
- Any offense against the person as defined in the Criminal Code committed against a family or household member as defined in R.S. 46:2132(4) or dating partner as defined in R.S. 46:2151(B)
Services Provided by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Victim Services Program:
- Ensuring victims receive prompt emergency, social, and medical services
- Distributing the Victim Notice and Registration Form to victims who are eligible for registration
- Providing private settings for the interviewing of victims
- Notifying properly registered victims of the release of those accused or convicted from custody
- Informing employers that victim cooperation in investigations may require them to miss work
- Maintaining the confidentiality of all victims
- Referring victims to social service agencies for counseling and financial services
- Working with the proper authorities to ensure any stolen or other personal property is returned to victims or their families when it is no longer needed as evidence
These services are provided at no cost as a public service by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office with assistance from a Crime Victims Assistance grant through the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.
As an additional service, we have included a Victim Services Packet below that can be downloaded or printed to assist you, a friend, or family member. If you have any questions about our services please contact us at 337-232-9211 or email Amy Daigle at Amy.Daigle@lafayettesheriff.com.
Monday – Friday:
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Louisiana Automated Victims Notification System
The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Office of the Governor and The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, is pleased to provide the LAVNS (Louisiana Automated Victim Notification System) service to the victims of crime in Lafayette Parish.
Recognizing the needs of the individuals we serve, this service will provide a free and anonymous telephone service that provides victims of crime two important features: Information and Notification.
LAVNS will monitor the custody status of offenders in parish jails, state prisons and current court cases.
LAVNS provides a LIVE Operator to callers 24 hours a day 7 days a week by calling (866-528-6748)(866-LAVNS-4-U). LAVNS phone information is available in English, Spanish, French and Vietnamese.
LAVNS also provides access via a public website www.vinelink.com for probationer custody status.
Crime Victims and concerned citizens may register themselves for notification by calling the above noted LAVNS toll-free number (866-528-6748) or via the LAVNS Public Website Access link above.
In order to register, callers will need to provide LAVNS with the following information:
- A telephone number, including area code, where you can be reached for notification
- A 4-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN)
- Offender/Defendant Number
- Offender/Defendant Name
- Case Number
Information Provided by LAVNS
- Offender Number
- Current Offender Custody Status
- Location of Offender
- Sentence Expiration Date
- Parole Eligibility Status
- Scheduled Release Date
- Charges (When made available)
- Bail (When made available)
- Court Information (Including date, time, location and type of next court event)
Information on Offenders 17 years old or under will not be available via LAVNS.
Notification calls to registered persons will be made when one or more of the following occur:
- General Release
- Work Release
- Court Cancellation
- Court Appearance
- Rescheduled Court Appearance
- Parole Hearing
If you have any questions about this or other services please contact us at 337-232-9211.
Crime Victim Reparations Program
In July of 1982, the State of Louisiana established the Crime Victim Reparations Program, which provides financial compensation to victims of certain crimes. You may be eligible to apply for victim compensation if you:
- Believe you are a victim of a violent crime.
- Are the victim’s legal representative (his/her attorney or the person responsible for the expenses).
- Are the victim’s dependent.
A claim may be filed regardless of whether the offender is known, has been arrested, and/or has been found guilty. However, the crime must:
- Involve the use of force or threat of use of force AND
- Result in personal injury, death, or catastrophic property loss AND
- Result in expenses that are allowed by the statute (Act 250 of 1982, LA R.S. 46:1801-1822) and are not reimbursable from any other source.
Eligible victims may apply for financial assistance with medical, funeral, mental health, childcare, crime scene evidence expenses, lost wages, loss of support, and catastrophic property loss (as a result of arson).
If you think you are eligible to apply for victim compensation, you must apply through the Sheriff’s Office in the parish where the crime was committed.
For more information on the Crime Victims Reparations Program, you may contact either the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office at (337) 232-9211 or the Crime Victims Reparations Board, at:
(225) 925-4437 or 1-888-6-VICTIM
The Victim Services Program also includes a Violence Against Women Program and an Elderly Crime Victim Assistance Program. These programs allow the Sheriff’s Office to focus its attention and efforts on these specific groups of victims, both of which have special needs and concerns.
Elderly Crime Victim Assistance Program
The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Elderly Crime Victim Assistance Program focuses its efforts on elderly victims of crimes. Our main goal is providing services that meet the physical and/or emotional needs of elderly crime victims in order to return them to their normal lifestyle as soon as possible following an incident.
Eligibility for Services
To be considered eligible for assistance as an Elderly Crime Victim, victims must be 60 years of age or older and be a victim of one or more of the following crimes:
- Survivors of Homicide Victims
- Battered Spouses of Significant Others
- DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)
- Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation
- Frauds, Scams and Cons
- Any crime involving the use of force or the threat of force which resulted in physical and/or emotional trauma
- Other Violent Crimes
Crime Victim Reparations Program
Victims of violent crimes may be eligible to apply for financial compensation for medical, funeral and counseling expenses, as well as for lost wages and loss of support through the Crime Victims Reparations Program. For information about the Crime Victims Reparations Program, please contact the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office at (337) 236-5614 or the Crime Victims Reparations Board at (225) 925-4437 or 1-888-684-2846.
Services offered by the Elderly Crime Victim Assistance Program include (but are not limited to):
- Providing personal advocacy on behalf of victims.
- Making referrals to local agencies for medical, financial, and/or emotional assistance.
- Providing information on various scams and frauds that specifically target the elderly.
- Operating a computerized telephone program that will automatically call subscribers to verify their well being at a prearranged time.
How to Receive Services
Additional information about the Elderly Crime Victim Assistance Program may be obtained by contacting the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office at:
316 W. Main Street
P.O. Drawer 3508
Lafayette, LA 70502
Additional Service Agencies
Lafayette Council on Aging
LA Elderly Protection Service
Lafayette Council on Aging
LA Elderly Protection Service
(referrals to service agencies)
State AARP SITE
Louisiana Crime Victims’ Rights
Under Louisiana legislation (R.S. 46:1844), victims of certain crimes (or the attempt of those crimes) are granted specific rights during all phases in the criminal justice system. To learn what rights you may have as a victim of a crime in Louisiana, go to www.legis.state.la.us or contact one or more of the following:
During the Investigation:
Victim Assistance at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office:
The law enforcement agency having custody of those accused or convicted of offenses listed in Louisiana R.S. 46:1842(9) shall notify properly registered victims of an accused person’s or a defendant’s arrest, release on recognizance, posting of bond, release pending charges being filed, release due to charges being rejected by the District Attorney’s Office, escape, or re-apprehension.
During the Prosecution:
Victim Assistance at the District Attorney’s Office (15th Judicial District):
Properly registered victims shall be provided reasonable notice of judicial proceedings relating to their case. Upon conviction, the victim registration form shall be included in the paperwork sent to the Department of Public Safety & Corrections, the law enforcement agency having custody of the defendant, or the division of Probation & Parole.
If the offender is incarcerated with the Department of Public Safety & Corrections:
Victim Assistance with Department of Corrections:
The Crime Victims Services Bureau (CVSB) was established in 1993 as a single point of contact for victim registration and information about victim issues and related legal, policy, and program matters. Victims and other persons directly affected by the criminal actions of an individual under the Department’s authority are encouraged to register with the CVSB in order to be notified of the following events:
- Initial housing location and projected release dates
- Court ruling affecting length of sentence
- Scheduled hearing before the Parole or the Pardon Board
- Escape from institutional custody and apprehension
- Assignment to work release
- Placement on a Risk Review docket
- Release from prison by any means, including death
To register, victims may download and mail the Department’s Victim/Witness Notification Request Form or call the CVSB’s toll-free number: 888-342-6110.
The law enables victims of adjudicated juveniles to register when the offender is placed in secure institutional care. For information about that possibility, victims should contact the Office of Juvenile Justice at 225-287-7900.
Other assistance available through the Crime Victims Services Bureau:
- Current photograph of offender (may be requested by registered victims within three months of an offender’s earliest projected release date)
- Access to information included in the offender’s post sentence report (limited to direct victims or a formally designated other person, who has completed the official Louisiana Victim Notice & Registration Form promulgated by the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement)
- Help in halting unsolicited communications from offenders**
- Names and telephone numbers for institutional contact persons, who can answer victims’ questions about a particular institution
Offenders assigned to state correctional facilities are forbidden by policy and by rule from initiating contact with their direct victims or victims’ family members. A 2008 law prohibits offenders sentenced for crimes of violence, as defined in La. R.S. 14:2(B), and their families from communicating with the victim of their offense or any of the victim’s immediate family members. Violation of law carries the possibility of fine and imprisonment. Anyone needing to report a violation may contact the Crime Victims Services Bureau.
If the offender applies for parole or a pardon:
Parole Board and the Pardon Board hearings are public, and victims/survivors have the right to attend and testify.
Law requires that written notice of both parole and pardon hearings must be mailed to victims no less than thirty days prior to the hearing date. If victims do not receive adequate notice, they may ask that the hearing be rescheduled.
Law also provides that victims may testify before the Parole Board and the Pardon Board by telephone from the office of the local district attorney. Arrangements need to be made in advance. Victims may contact the appropriate board or their district attorney’s office about this matter.
Both Parole and Pardon Board dockets and docket outcomes are posted on the Department’s website.
East Jefferson District
West Baton Rouge