Apology Letters

Offenders under the authority of the Minnesota Department of Corrections sometimes want to write letters of apology to the victims/survivors of their crimes. In an apology letter, an offender may acknowledge fault, the injury and pain caused to the victim or others, and responsibility for the crime and the harm caused. The letter will not offer excuses or request forgiveness or pardon. 

By policy, the Department of Corrections (DOC) does not allow an offender to send an apology letter to a victim, either directly or through a third party. An apology letter from an offender is held by the Victim Assistance and Restorative Justice Program at the DOC and distributed only when and if the victim specifically decides to accept the correspondence.   

The guidelines for apology letters include:

  • Never sending the apology letter directly to victim, victim’s families or victim advocates;
  • Allowing either the victim or offender to initiate the apology letter process;
  • Victims shall determine if and when the apology letter will be delivered to them, if at all;
  • Victims will determine whether the offender is informed that the victim requested, received and/or has read the apology letter;
  • All apology letters will be reviewed by designated letter screeners at each facility, by the Apology Letter Bank Coordinator and Restorative Justice Coordinator;
  • Victims may, at the time of engaging in the apology letter process or at a subsequent time, request other restorative services provided by the DOC, such as victim offender dialogue, opportunities for victim involvement in offender programming or victim services referrals.
  • Involvement in the apology letter process will not affect an offender’s release date or other conditions of incarceration.

Requesting an Apology Letter

To request notification of an apology letter, please complete the Apology Letter Request Form.

Apology Letter Request Form



Forms can be mailed to:

Minnesota Department of Corrections
Victim Assistance & Restorative Justice Program
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55108

Forms can be emailed to:


For more information or if you have questions about the Apology Letter program, please contact the Restorative Justice Coordinator at 651.361.7115 or victimassistance.doc@state.mn.us