Accountability Letter Bank
The Accountability Letter Bank (ALB) provides incarcerated person(s) an opportunity to communicate to the victims of their criminal behavior their understanding of the harm caused by their crime(s), and acknowledge responsibility for the consequence of their behavior. Inmates may also share the positive things they have done and the steps they have taken to change their lives.
Opt In for Accountability Letters
If you are a victim/survivor, you may choose to receive notification if the incarcerated person(s) in your case has submitted an Accountability Letter for you by:
- Completing the DOC 07-040 Application for Advance Notification and Victim Services online form.
- Ensuring you have selected 'yes' to being notified in the "Accountability Letter Bank" section of the form is checked before submitting the form.
If you would like more information, please contact the Victim Services Program.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Where do the letters go?
- Are all letters to victims accepted for deposit in the Accountability Letter Bank?
- How will I know if there is a letter for me?
- How will I know if receiving a letter is the right choice for me?
- What about my privacy?
- What other things should I know?
Where do the letters go?
The inmate submits his/her letter(s) for deposit in the Accountability Letter Bank where they are held indefinitely, or until the victim/survivor requests to receive the letter.
Are all letters to victims accepted for deposit in the Accountability Letter Bank?
The letters will be reviewed by the Department of Corrections (DOC) Victim Services Program staff prior to being accepted for deposit in the Accountability Letter Bank.
The letter should relate to a specific incident and victim/survivor, and the content of the letter should acknowledge the harm done and demonstrate acceptance of responsibility for the crime. The content of the letter should not blame others, offer excuses, or request forgiveness from the victim/survivor.
If the letter does not meet these guidelines, or is in other ways not appropriate, it will not be accepted for deposit and will be returned to the inmate.
An informational guide is provided to inmates interested in participating in the Accountability Letter Bank program.
How will I know if there is a letter for me?
If you are the victim/survivor of a crime, apply for notification and ensure you have selected 'yes' to being notified in the "Accountability Letter Bank" section on the form before submitting.
If a letter is deposited for you, you will be notified by a Victim Services Program staff member. If you are interested in receiving the letter, you may choose when and how you would like to receive it.
How will I know if receiving a letter is the right choice for me?
Only you can decide if reading the inmate’s letter is the right personal choice for you.
There are a few things that you may want to consider before making your decision. This may be an emotional time for you and you could experience feelings of grief and loss when you read a letter from the person responsible for harming you or your loved one. You may want to seek out a trusted support person or counselor to discuss your decision further.
Some victims/survivors have reported experiencing a degree of healing when they hear that the inmate is sincerely remorseful. Sometimes victims learn details of the crime that can decrease their fear and restore a sense of security.
What about my privacy?
Your contact information and enrollment status will be managed by designated Victim Services Program staff. The inmate will not be informed if you have requested to receive the letter. It is your choice whether or not to request, receive, or respond to a letter. If you desire any future communication it must be coordinated through the Victim Services Program Manager.
What other things should I know?
- The inmate’s release date and other conditions of incarceration will not be affected by participation in the Accountability Letter Bank.
- Victims/survivors must be at least 18 years of age at the time the Accountability Letter Bank Notification Request is made.
- If you have requested to be notified of an accountability letter, a letter is received from the inmate, and there is a court order prohibiting the inmate from contacting you, we will work with the court to modify the order to allow the letter to be transmitted to you.
- Participants are responsible for updating their contact information with the Victim Services Program.