Where D.C. Offenders Are Incarcerated
If the judge sentences the offender to a period of incarceration, there are many different facilities where the defendant may be held, depending on the length of the sentence, whether the defendant was convicted as an adult or as a juvenile, whether the crime was a local or federal offense, and other factors.
Central Detention Facility
The Central Detention Facility, also known as the D.C. Jail, is the main detention facility for adult pretrial defendants and adults sentenced to less than one year.
Correctional Treatment Facility
This is a separate detention facility located next to the D.C. Jail that holds special populations, including women, juveniles who have been charged or convicted as adults, and people with acute health needs.
Federal Bureau of Prisons
People convicted of local crimes in D.C. who are sentenced to one or more years of incarceration are held at Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities throughout the United States. People who are convicted of federal crimes in D.C. and are sentenced to any length of incarceration are held at these facilities as well.
D.C. Youth Services Center
This facility holds male and female juvenile offenders awaiting adjudication in the juvenile justice system.
New Beginnings Youth Development Center
This facility holds male and female offenders who have been sentenced as a juvenile to a period of incarceration.
Incarcerated people can be located using the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) System, an automated victim notification system that informs victims of inmate status changes, including release and facility transfers. To locate an incarcerated or recently released offender, or to register for automated VINE notifications, call 1-877-329-7894 or visit vinelink.com.
The Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) System
VINE continuously monitors the files of the D.C. Department of Corrections for status changes of inmates, including release, facility transfer, court hearing, or re-incarceration. Once a status change occurs, the VINE system notifies victims with an automated call or email to their registered phone numbers or email addresses. Registered victims can also call 1-877-329-7894 to obtain up-to-date status information on an inmate. To register for automatic VINE updates, call 1-877-329-7894 or visit vinelink.com.
A judge may sentence a defendant to community supervision (commonly known as probation) instead of jail time, meaning that the defendant will be released but required to comply with certain conditions. A judge also can order a defendant to be incarcerated for a period of time and then enter community supervision (commonly known as parole). Conditions of community supervision can include, but are not limited to, reporting weekly to the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), electronic monitoring, curfews, drug/alcohol testing and treatment, and a requirement to make no contact with the victim.
The No Contact Order that the judge enforced during the case is terminated after sentencing, but the judge may make a No Contact Order a condition of the defendant’s probation or parole. If this is the case, making contact after release will be a violation that can result in re-incarceration.
With the exception of juvenile offenders who are supervised by D.C. Superior Court’s Family Court Social Services Division, most D.C. offenders on community supervision are supervised by CSOSA. A CSOSA community supervision officer monitors an offender to ensure compliance with the court-ordered requirements. CSOSA has a Victim Services Program, which conducts outreach to victims to ensure that they have access to resources and, above all, are safe. If the offender is being monitored by CSOSA, the victim may contact CSOSA, which will assess the victim’s needs, assist with safety planning, and make referrals to necessary services.
If an Offender Violates Terms of Community Supervision
If an offender violates the terms of community supervision, the supervision officer may notify the judge and request a “show cause hearing.” At a show cause hearing, the defendant has the burden to explain to the judge why the defendant’s community supervision should not be revoked. If the judge decides to revoke the defendant’s community supervision, the judge will then re-sentence the defendant and may recommend stricter supervision conditions or impose a period of incarceration. A victim has the right to attend this hearing and may be required to testify.
Appealing a Criminal Verdict
It is very common for defendants to appeal their convictions after being found guilty. These appeals are usually technical, regarding court procedures and rulings made by the judge, including decisions about evidence and jury instructions. Appeals of verdicts in D.C. Superior Court occur in the D.C. Court of Appeals. Appeals of verdicts in U.S. District Court are heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
When deciding an appeal, the appellate court only reviews the written case record, and no new evidence or testimony is introduced during an appeal. Attorneys for the prosecution and the defense file written briefs that outline their arguments about the appeal. The court may schedule an oral argument where a prosecuting attorney and a defense attorney present their arguments and answer questions from a panel of judges. Victims are allowed to attend this public hearing. After this hearing, it may take several months for the court to decide the appeal. The court will decide the appeal in one of three ways.
Potential Outcomes of Criminal Appeals
- The appeals court determines that the verdict should stay in place.
- The appeals court determines that the verdict should be overturned.
- Reversed and remanded
- The appeals court determines that the verdict is flawed and orders the trial court to conduct a new trial or to take some further action.