Help is available for victims of crime through MDOC’s victim services

Published 7:17 pm Saturday, November 17, 2018

A victim of crime often does not know who to turn to in the aftermath of what can be a very traumatic incident. Thankfully, there is a program in place to assist those who are crime victims.

Terry Wilbert, director of Victim Services for the Mississippi Department of Corrections, gave a presentation to the Warren County Board of Supervisors outlining what the agency provides to crime victims.

“We are trying to get the word out that there are services available,” Wilbert said.

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“As a division, we work on behalf of crime victims. One thing we do is let the victim know of the location of the offender. If the offender is housed in Parchman and then transferred to Rankin County, and you stay in Brandon or Pearl, you would want to know that offender is close to you.”

Wilbert said victims of crime are notified via email and a phone call of the offenders’ status and location, as well as parole updates.

“Any type of release, we notify the victim,” Wilbert said.

She said this allows the victim to appear before the parole board to tell their story or write a letter outlining why they don’t believe the offender deserves to be paroled.

Wilbert said it’s the responsibility of the victim to keep MDOC updated if their phone number or email changes.

Crime victims can also register anonymously for automated notifications by visiting or calling 601-359-5759.

Wilbert said victims will be notified with an alert to their phone if the offenders status has changed.

Victim Services also refers crime victims to the state attorney general’s office, which has several programs in place to assist them.

One of the programs involves compensation.

If a victim is killed, there are funds the family can use to help with burial costs.
There are also funds available for counseling services through the AG’s office. Wilbert also said there is also an AG program to assist victims who want to relocate.

She said each District Attorney’s office also has victim assistant coordinators who can help crime victims be more aware of their rights.

“We are here to let the victim know we are here to help,” Wilbert said.

“We are advocates for victims. “Victims have rights and we want them to know those rights.”

For more information on the Division of Victim Services or to register, call 886-522-4087 or visit