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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Public Policy

 

NCVLI works daily to ensure that victims and their rights are part of public policy debates and decisions at the local, state, federal, and international levels.  Our focus is on securing victims’ rights’ legislation that guarantees victims substantive rights and the procedural mechanisms to protect those rights.  We work with partners to improve rights in every jurisdiction, providing model legislation, strategic advice, and expert testimony; we also publish Position Papers on emerging issues of law and Victims’ Rights Report Cards that evaluate the state of the nation.  Finally, we work to raise awareness about victims’ rights by engaging the media.

Hot Topic: 

Our most recent Position Paper Oregon Victims’ Rights Require that Victims Be Afforded Meaningful Notice of Release Hearings, Which Includes Providing Victims with Specific Notice that a Hearing Will Include Consideration of Release discusses how a majority of criminal cases are resolved by plea agreements and although these may be necessary or even laudable goals, they should not eclipse the fact that maintaining victim status and the attendant rights may be crucial to a victim’s recovery and sense of justice.

To download a PDF version of the Coalition Letter, click here.

Recent Public Policy Efforts

Public Policy Highlights from Years Past:

  • 2013: Provide letter to New Jersey advocacy groups fighting for new legislation that would allow victims to have free access to records related to crimes committed against them.
  • 2013: Submit opposition to changes to Oregon trial court rules that would expand media coverage in violation of victims’ rights.
  • 2011: Director testifies before the full U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary as part of Crime Victims’ Rights Week, updating Congress on the state of the nation and highlighting the need for Congress to fulfill its commitment to fund legal services for victims, and before the Oregon State House Judiciary Committee on victim restitution.
  • 2011: Send policy memorandum to the Hawaii State Legislature on the propriety of allowing victims to proceed anonymously in civil cases against their perpetrators which aided passage of a new law protective of victims’ identities.
  • 2009: Help draft the statutory scheme that provides the “how to” of asserting rights in Oregon.
  • 2008: Help draft Measures 51 and 52 to make Oregon’s constitutional victims’ rights enforceable.  Oregon voters approved these measures by a 3 to 1 margin.  
  • 2008: Aid in the drafting and passage of Proposition 9 (Marsy’s Law), which amended the California state constitution and provides victims with the rights to privacy, participation, and protection, and clear standing to enforce these rights.
  • 2004: Help draft and work for passage of the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA), 18 USC § 3771, which created strong and enforceable rights for victims in federal criminal cases.