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Victims’ Rights Law Enforcement I. Copyright © Texas Education Agency 2011. All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.

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Presentation on theme: "Victims’ Rights Law Enforcement I. Copyright © Texas Education Agency 2011. All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission."— Presentation transcript:

1 Victims’ Rights Law Enforcement I

2 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Copyright and Terms of Service Copyright © Texas Education Agency, These materials are copyrighted © and trademarked ™ as the property of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of TEA, except under the following conditions: 1) Texas public school districts, charter schools, and Education Service Centers may reproduce and use copies of the Materials and Related Materials for the districts’ and schools’ educational use without obtaining permission from TEA. 2) Residents of the state of Texas may reproduce and use copies of the Materials and Related Materials for individual personal use only, without obtaining written permission of TEA. 3) Any portion reproduced must be reproduced in its entirety and remain unedited, unaltered and unchanged in any way. 4) No monetary charge can be made for the reproduced materials or any document containing them; however, a reasonable charge to cover only the cost of reproduction and distribution may be charged. Private entities or persons located in Texas that are not Texas public school districts, Texas Education Service Centers, or Texas charter schools or any entity, whether public or private, educational or non-educational, located outside the state of Texas MUST obtain written approval from TEA and will be required to enter into a license agreement that may involve the payment of a licensing fee or a royalty. Contact TEA Copyrights with any questions you may have.TEA Copyrights 2

3 LAWS AFFECTING VICTIMS’ RIGHTS Part 1: 3

4 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights The Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982 – Protects and assists victims and witnesses of federal crimes Allows for Victim Impact Statements at sentencing including information about the financial, psychological, or physical harm suffered by the victim Provides restitution for the victims Prevents victims or witnesses from being intimidated by threatening verbal harassment Establishes penalties for retaliation against testifying Voices of Victims: Constitutional Amendment Video 4

5 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982 (continued) – Protects and assists victims and witnesses of federal crimes (continued) Provides victims with notification of criminal proceedings – Arrest of accused – Times of court appearances – Release and detention of accused – Victim’s opportunity to address sentencing court – Consultation of victims at proposed dismissals and plea negotiations No disclosure of name and address of witnesses and victims 5

6 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 – Created federal a victims’ compensation account funded by fines assessed in federal criminal convictions – Established provisions to assist state programs that compensated victims of crime – Established a crime victims’ fund collected through U.S. convictions – Distributed U.S. funds to the states 2009 NCVRW Theme Video 6

7 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (continued) – Losses not covered Stolen or damaged property Pain and suffering Crime scene cleanup Relocation House payments Rent Utilities Food or clothing costs Tuition reimbursement Monetary losses from investment schemes 7

8 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (continued) – Created crime victims’ legal assistance grants Director may issue grants to institutions to develop, establish, and maintain programs for enforcement of crime victims’ rights to the following entities: – States – Tribal and local prosecutor’s offices – Law enforcement – Courts – Jails and correctional institutions 8

9 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (continued) – Established crime victims’ rights – the right to Be reasonably protected from the accused Reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of public proceedings involving the crime, or any release or escape of the accused Not be excluded from any such public proceeding Be reasonably heard at any public proceeding involving release, plea, or sentencing Confer with the attorney for the government in the case Full and timely restitution as provided by law Be free from an unreasonable delay in proceedings Be treated with fairness and respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy 9

10 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 – Was introduced in a session of Congress, but was not enacted – Requires all federal law enforcement agency officers and employees to make their best efforts to accord victims of crime with the right to Be treated with fairness and respect for the victim's dignity and privacy Be protected from their accused offenders Notification of court proceedings 10

11 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (continued) – Requires all federal law enforcement agency officers and employees to make their best efforts to accord victims of crime with the right to: (continued) Attend public court proceedings related to the offense under certain conditions Confer with the government attorney assigned to the case Restitution Information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, and release of the offender 11

12 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (continued) – Directs federal law enforcement agency heads to designate the persons responsible for identifying the victims of a crime and providing certain services to such victims such as Informing them where to receive medical care and counseling Arranging protection from an offender Keeping the victim informed of developments during the investigation and prosecution of the crime and after the trial, such as the arrest of a suspected offender or the escape of a convicted offender 12

13 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (continued) – Revises federal criminal code provisions regarding orders of restitution – Requires federal courts to order convicted criminals to pay restitution to cover the full amount of the victim's losses without consideration of the economic circumstances of the offender or the fact that a victim has received, or is entitled to receive, compensation with respect to a loss from other sources (currently orders of restitution are discretionary) – Authorizes federal courts to order restitution for any person who, as shown by a preponderance of the evidence, was harmed physically, emotionally, or pecuniarily by the unlawful conduct of the defendant during the crime – Amends the federal bankruptcy code to prevent orders of restitution from being discharged as a result of bankruptcy 13

14 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Child Victims’ Bill of Rights of 1990 – the right to – Have proceedings explained in simple terms – Have a victim’s advocate present at prosecutorial/ defense interviews (if the child is a victim of sexual assault, violent crimes, or child abuse) – A secure waiting area and a support person during court – Not have name, address, or photo released to any agency outside of the criminal justice system – Allow an advocate to inform the court of the child’s ability to understand the proceedings 14

15 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Child Victims’ Bill of Rights of 1990 (continued) – Allow the advocate to make a recommendation to the prosecutor about child’s ability to cooperate with the prosecution and the potential effects of the prosecution upon the child – Provide information and referrals to agencies to assist the child and the family in dealing with the emotional impact of the crime and legal proceedings – Allow an advocate to be present in court to provide emotional support to the child during testimony – Inform the court as to the need to have other supportive persons present during the child’s testimony – Allow law enforcement agencies to enlist the services of other professional staff trained to interview child victims 15

16 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Victim Rights Clarification Act of 1997 (VRCA) – Clarifies the existing federal law that allows victims to attend a trial and appear as an impact witness during the special sentencing phase for capital and noncapital crimes – The victim cannot be prevented from attending a federal criminal trial based on the fact that he or she is expected to testify at the sentencing phase of the trial – The victims of crimes can include family members of deceased victims and permits certain family members to be present during capital trials 16

17 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Crime Victims’ Compensation Act – Accrues money from the following sources: State court costs Parole fees of $8/month Donations Subrogation Federal Victims of Crime Act grants Restitution – Benefits payable up to $50,000 with an additional benefit of $75,000 for permanent disability 17

18 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Laws Affecting Victims’ Rights (continued) The Crime Victims’ Compensation Act (continued) – Eligibility Crime occurs in Texas Victim resides in Texas Crime must be reported within a reasonable amount of time Victim must file for benefits within 3 years of the date of the crime Claim may be reduced/denied if the victim has not cooperated with the investigation/criminal proceedings 18

19 WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM Part 2: 19

20 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Witness Protection Program Introduced in 1970 in the Organized Crime Control Act Relocation and protection of witness(es) or potential witness(es) Protected against intimidation before they testify or criminal retaliation after they testify Relocated and provided with new identities and documents Protection provided by U.S. Marshals for security, health, and safety of the witnesses Protection provided for the witnesses and their immediate dependents Testimony against drug traffickers, terrorists, organized crime, and other major crimes Amended by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 Relocated persons can have no contact with persons from their past 20

21 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Witness Protection Program (continued) U.S. Code Title 18, Part II, Ch 224, Sec 3521 Witness Relocation and Protection (http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/18C224.txt)http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/18C224.txt – Administered by the Attorney General – Persons protected Provides relocation and protection for the federal and the state government Protects witnesses of organized crime, serious offense of violence directed at witness in Offenses under CH. 73, and state offenses similar in nature Protection and relocation of the witness and his or her immediate family, a person otherwise closely associated, or a person who may be endangered on account of the participation of the witness in the judicial proceedings 21

22 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Witness Protection Program (continued) U.S. Code Title 18, Part II, Ch 224, Sec 3521 Witness Relocation and Protection (continued) – Provisions Suitable documents to enable a person to establish a new identity or otherwise protect the person Housing Transportation of household furniture and other personal property to the new residence Payment of basic living expenses Employment assistance Payment of medical expenses/care Job training Other service necessary to assist the person in being self-sustaining 22

23 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Witness Protection Program (continued) U.S. Code Title 18, Part II, Ch 224, Sec 3521 Witness Relocation and Protection (continued) – Disclosure Weigh the danger against the benefit of disclosure before disclosing the location or identity of the protected person With a court order, and without delay, disclosure to officials includes – Identity – Location – Criminal records – Fingerprints 23

24 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Witness Protection Program (continued) U.S. Code Title 18, Part II, Ch 224, Sec 3521 Witness Relocation and Protection (continued) – Disclosure (continued) Request is made because – The protected person is under investigation or – Has been arrested/charged with a crime of violence – Has been arrested/charged with an offense punishable by more than one year in prison – Provide the confidential identity/location of the person who is subject to the regulation requirements as a convicted offender Provide the confidential identity/location of the person who is subject to the regulation requirements as a convicted offender 24

25 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Witness Protection Program (continued) Prior to protection, the Attorney General obtains information to determine the suitability of the person for the program – Criminal history – Psychological evaluation 25

26 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Witness Protection Program (continued) Prior to protection the Attorney General obtains information to determine the suitability of the person for the program (continued) – Written assessment Need for the testimony is weighed against the risk of danger Alternatives to protection are evaluated Determine if testimony from other sources can be secured Determine the importance of the testimony Weigh whether or not protection would infringe upon the relationship between a child being relocated and his or her parents not being protected Will not protect if the potential for harm to innocent victims outweighs the need for a person’s testimony 26

27 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Witness Protection Program (continued) Prior to program entry a memorandum of responsibilities is presented to the witness. A memorandum is completed for each person 18 years of age and older – The witness must agree to the following: To testify and provide information to law enforcement To commit no crime To take all of the necessary steps to avoid detection by others To comply with all reasonable requests of the government providing the protection To comply with the legal obligations and the civil judgments To designate another to be an agent for service of the process To make a sworn statement of all legal obligations, including child custody and visitation To disclose any parole and probation responsibilities To inform the government of activities and current address 27

28 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Witness Protection Program (continued) Prior to program entry a memorandum of responsibilities is presented to the witness. A memorandum is completed for each person 18 years of age and older (continued) – The government may provide temporary protection if the threat of harm is imminent – The government may terminate the protection for a breach of the memorandum 28

29 TEXAS LAWS FOR WITNESS PROTECTION Part 3: 29

30 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Texas Laws for Witness Protection Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) – Keeps the address confidential – Provides a substitute PO Box and free mail forwarding – Allows the PO Box address to be used for Driver’s license, voter registration, and school registration – Agencies that are not required to accept ACP addresses Banks Credit companies Private utilities companies 30

31 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Texas Laws for Witness Protection (continued) Eligibility requirements – Victims of family violence, sexual assault, or stalking – A member of the participant’s household – Must keep the address confidential – Victim must meet with the advocate to develop a safety plan – Must be a Texas resident or a victim that is relocating to Texas 31

32 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Texas Laws for Witness Protection (continued) Application process – The victim must meet with a local domestic violence shelter, sexual assault center, law enforcement agent, or prosecutor to discuss the safety plan 32

33 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Texas Laws for Witness Protection (continued) Application process (continued) – The safety plan is a checklist used to assess the risk and to identify the actions that increase safety for the victims The safety plan includes – Important telephone numbers for law enforcement, help lines, and community resources – An outline with specific strategies for avoiding the offender and for getting help when needed Must be renewed every three years Must notify the Office of the Attorney General of an address change 10 days prior to moving 33

34 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Texas Laws for Witness Protection (continued) Disclosure of address – Law Enforcement – Department of Family Protective Services – Department of State Health 34

35 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Texas Laws for Witness Protection (continued) Cancellation of benefits – Knowingly makes a false statement on the application – Forwarded mail is undeliverable at least four times – If the name or the true residence address is changed and notification is not sent 10 days prior to moving 35

36 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Resources Victims of Crime – Federal Actions FEDERAL-ACTIONS.htmlhttp://www.libraryindex.com/pages/452/Victims-Crime- FEDERAL-ACTIONS.html Missouri Department of Public Safety Child Victims Bill of Rights; Kitsap County, Washington National Criminal Justice Reference Service https://www.ncjrs.gov/ovc_archives/ncvrw/2008/pdf/landmarks.pdf https://www.ncjrs.gov/ovc_archives/ncvrw/2008/pdf/landmarks.pdf Alpert Schreyer Trial Attorneys The Attorney General of Texas, Crime Victim Services The National Center for Victims of Crime H.R (101 st ): Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of

37 Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission. Resources (continued) PowerPoint Videos Voices of Victims: Constitutional Amendment (9:48 minutes) feature=related feature=related 2009 NCVRW Theme (5:40 minutes) Witness Protection Program 1 (9:54 minutes) playnext=1&list=PLFACAC117EF3AD490 playnext=1&list=PLFACAC117EF3AD490 37


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