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When a case reaches the prosecution stage in the criminal justice system, notification will be provided to the victims. Notifications include the filing of charges against the suspected offender, the custody status of the offender, the scheduled dates of court hearings, a guilty plea or a verdict after trial, the opportunity to provide a victim impact statement, the date of sentencing, the sentence judgment, and post sentencing notifications. The most common method of notification is by letter.

Victim Notification System
The Department of Justice's Victim Notification System (VNS) is a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. This free, computer-based system provides federal crime victims with information on scheduled court events, as well as the outcome of those court events. It also provides victims with information on the offender's custody status and release. Victims can obtain automated status information by calling the VNS Call Center at 1-866-365-4968 (1-866-DOJ-4YOU) or by accessing the VNS Internet site at: https://www.notify.usdoj.gov/index.jsp.
A Victim ID and PIN are required to access the VNS Call Center or VNS Internet site. This information will be sent by letter to victims. For more information on this program, please contact the Victim-Witness Coordinator. Also, please let us know of any change in your address or telephone number so we can reach you.

Link:
Pamphlet: The Department of Justice Victim Notification System

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