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Frequently Asked Questions

Victim Notification and Participation

How can I receive notification about an offender in prison?

Victims, their family members and concerned citizens may request written notification by contacting the Victim Services Division. Please call our toll free number (800) 848-4284 or write to 8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265, Austin, Texas, 78757-6899 or e-mail victim.svc@tdcj.texas.gov to register. Notifications include notice of an offender’s parole eligibility, Board decisions, release to and return from Bench Warrant, discharge dates, along with many other notices. Any information you supply will remain confidential.

What services will I receive by registering for notification?

Victim Services Division offers letter and e-mail notification regarding Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) offenders throughout the criminal justice process. We also offer an informational hotline answered by phone operators Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST. The toll free number is (800) 848-4284. In addition, we offer an automated service that provides a telephone call when an offender is scheduled for release. We also provide text notifications to eligible registrants on warrant actions for offenders on supervision. To register for any of these services, please call our toll free number (800) 848-4284 or write to 8712 Shoal Creek Blvd, Suite 265, Austin, Texas, 78757-6899 or e-mail victim.svc@tdcj.texas.gov.

Is there a system that provides offender information 24 hours a day?

Victim Services Division offers limited offender information through the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system. The VINE toll free number for automated information is (877) 894-8463 and is available 24 hours day, 7 days a week. You can contact the Victim Services Division to register for notification by calling our toll free number (800) 848-4284 or writing to 8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265, Austin, Texas, 78757-6899 or via e-mail at victim.svc@tdcj.texas.gov for further information.

What is the difference between registering with VINE and registering with Victim Services?

Victim Services Division provides comprehensive written notification while an offender is in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and while on parole supervision. These notifications include notice of an offender’s parole eligibility, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles decisions, release to and from bench warrant, discharge dates, along with many other notices.

Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) offers an automated system that supplies limited TDCJ offender information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. VINE also offers a system that provides an automated telephone call prior to an offender’s release. To register for any of these services, please contact Victim Services Division by calling our toll free number (800) 848-4284 or writing to 8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265, Austin, Texas, 78757-6899 or via e-mail at victim.svc@tdcj.texas.gov.

Can I be notified when an offender is released from prison?

Yes, if registered with the Victim Services Division you will receive written notifications regarding an offender’s upcoming release. In addition, you may request to receive an automated telephone call through the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system when an offender is being processed for release. To register for this service, please contact Victim Services Division by calling our toll free number (800) 848-4284 or writing to 8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265, Austin, Texas, 78757-6899 or via e-mail at victim.svc@tdcj.texas.gov.

How can I protest an offender’s release and what do I say in my protest letter?

You may submit written protest letters to Victim Services at 8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265, Austin, Texas 78757-6899, via fax to (512) 452-0825, or via e-mail at victim.svc@tdcj.texas.gov. All protest information is confidential. The requestor must submit their protest in writing and should explain in detail the reason(s) for the protest. This can include details of the offense, the impact of the offense and any fears or concerns.

Can I meet with the Board of Pardons and Paroles?

Victims, as defined in the Chapter 508, Section 508.117 (g) of the Texas Government Code, may request an in-person interview with a voting member of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles when their offender is being considered for parole. The interview request must be registered through Victim Services by calling our toll free number (800) 848-4284 or writing to 8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265, Austin, Texas, 78757-6899 or via e-mail at victim.svc@tdcj.texas.gov. Additional statutes governing Parole Board interviews are included in Chapter 508, Section 508.153.