Post-Conviction Resource Guide
Why is this Important?
Crime victim involvement with the justice system may continue long after trial.
The “post-conviction” period covers the time from conviction (by plea or following a trial) until the offender has finished taking any legal actions that could impact their conviction, sentence, or criminal record. This period can be decades long. Significantly, there are a variety of events that can occur post-conviction that may directly impact victims and their interests. For example, a convicted person may:
- challenge a conviction through a number of different legal mechanisms, including direct appeals, post-conviction relief proceedings and habeas corpus review
- fail to make restitution payments
- be released into the community either with or without supervision
- seek release from the requirements of sex offender status
For more examples of moments when a victim’s rights might be implicated post-conviction, see the process maps on the Foundations tab.
During the post-conviction period, victims may interact with a complex maze of agencies and processes, which makes post-conviction an often frustrating and difficult time for victims. These agencies include jails, departments of corrections, parole boards and community corrections. Each of these may be involved in supervision and control of an offender at various times post-conviction.
Each post-conviction agency may have a unique website and information brochure, each may use a distinct case management and victim notification system, and each may even have different approaches to how victims assert their rights (e.g., opt-in vs. opt-out). This can make the processes overwhelming for victims to navigate on their own and may create challenges as victims attempt to identify their rights and options
Throughout the post-conviction processes, victims are afforded a number of legal rights. Common legal rights include:
What might thinking about victims’ rights post-conviction look like? Here is an overview of the right to privacy in the post-conviction context.
See more rights-specific videos on our Quicktool Page
The Importance of Community Education on Post-Conviction Victims’ Rights
Education on post-conviction processes and victims’ rights is critical because it can help provide victims with information about how to navigate an often-complicated intersection of systems and the resources that are available to them to provide support and additional information. Increased understanding can help ensure that victims can meaningfully participate in the post-conviction process to the extent they choose and can also help improve their experience with the criminal justice system while reducing re-traumatization.
Additional Information and Resources
We have more information on Post-Conviction Victims’ Rights on our website in the following locations:
- Post-Trial section of the Rights Enforcement Toolkit
- Post-Conviction section of the Victim Law Library
This project was supported by Grant No. 2017-VF-GX-K026, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Additional content is supported by Award No. 2018-V3-GX-0030 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, United States Department of Justice and funded by Oregon Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice or the Crime Victim and Survivor Services Division, Oregon Department of Justice.