April 21, 2010

Assembly Marks National Crime Victims Week With Legislative Package

Comprehensive Legislation Emphasizes Victims' Rights and Services

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Governmental Operations Committee Chair RoAnn Destito today announced Assembly passage of a legislative package in honor of National Crime Victims' Rights Week aimed at improving treatment and services for crime victims and reforming procedures to protect those victims.

"This legislation builds upon the Assembly Majority's long tradition of providing services for crime victims and their families," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "While we are unable to erase the pain and suffering many victims continue to feel long after the actual crime has been committed, we must ensure laws and support systems are in place to address these needs in a fast, efficient and responsible manner."

"National Crime Victims' Rights Week allows us to take a moment and focus on those victimized instead of the perpetrators, and see how we can help them recover," said Destito (D-Rome). "Through this legislative package, we reaffirm our commitment to providing the necessary tools for people to rebuild their lives."

Legislation in today's package that focuses on protecting crime victims includes measures that would:

Two bills in the package specifically address hate crimes. One would allow courts to require a defendant convicted of a hate crime to complete a program, training or counseling session on hate crime prevention and require greater training of prosecutors in prosecuting hate crimes (A.9220A/Meng), while another would establish a civil remedy for victims of hate-crime related violence or intimidation (A.529/Destito).

Other legislation included would: National Crime Victims' Rights Week was established in 1981 to promote victims' rights and honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.