Assistance Provided


We can help provide information, such as:

  • Court events
  • How the court process works
  • Information about the case
  • Whether or not the offender is released from jail


We can help support you by:

  • Going with you to court
  • Helping with child care, transportation, and parking when you come to court
  • Helping you to be ready to testify
  • Showing you the courtroom
  • Telling you about counselors and other services that can help you
  • Helping file a victims compensation assistance claim for:
    • Cash loss of benefits
    • Counseling
    • Crime scene clean-up
    • Funeral expenses
    • Loss of earnings or support
    • Medical expenses
    • Relocation expenses


We can serve as your advocate by:

  • Explaining the emotional, physical, and financial effects of the crime to the judge
  • Getting your property back if it is no longer needed for court
  • Giving you someone talk to about your needs and concerns
  • Helping determine the outcome you want for the case
  • Helping if you are threatened or intimidated

Helpful Materials

If any of these materials would be helpful to you, please call our office at 717-299-8048 or send an email to Victim Witness Services to ask for a copy:

  • Dealing With the Media Tip Sheet
  • Lancaster County Victim / Witness Handbook for Criminal Court
  • Lancaster County Victim / Witness Handbook for Juvenile Court
  • Rights and Services for Crime Victims
  • Victim Impact Statement Guidelines

Checking a Defendant's Incarceration Status

PA SAVIN is Pennsylvania’s automated victim notification system. You can register for free. You can find confidential notices of an inmate’s release, transfer, or escape on the site. You can use PA SAVIN for offenders in the county jails or the state prisons, or under supervision by the State Board of Probation and Parole.

Lancaster County Prison

If the offender is in the Lancaster County Prison, you, your family, and your circle of support can receive notice:

  • If the offender escapes
  • If the offender is transferred to another location
  • When the offender is released from jail
  • When the offender returns to jail

To register, call 866-972-7284 or 866-847-1298 (TTY) toll-free, register online, or call Victim / Witness Services at 717-299-8048 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

State Prison

If the offender is in a state prison or on state parole, there are additional notices and services that you, as a crime victim, can receive from the Office of the Victim Advocate.

Notifications & Services

Some of the services provided include automated notice from PA SAVIN of transfers, release, escape, and other types of changes in the offender’s status.

You will also be given an opportunity to express your feelings about the release of the offender. To learn more and register, contact the Office of the Victim Advocate at 800-322-4472, 800-563-6399, or 877-349-1064 (TDD) during business hours.

You can also use the inmate locator on the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections website. You can also get information about all of the state correctional institutions. The defendant will not know that you registered. This is a free, confidential service.