Rights in Systems Enforced (RISE) Project
In 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA). 18 U.S.C. § 3771. The CVRA sets forth specific rights for victims in federal criminal courts. At the state level, victims’ rights can be found in more than 30 state constitutions and every state’s statutes. In addition, many tribal codes afford victims’ rights.
While these legislative efforts demonstrate great progress, many victims remain unaware of their rights and many others lack support to seek enforcement of their rights. Moreover, many civil legal attorneys who are experienced with providing services to crime victims have not incorporated crime victims’ rights enforcement into their practice. Thus, crime victims who frequently need assistance with both the enforcement of their rights in criminal proceedings and advocacy on civil legal matters that result from the victimization find themselves without full support. In addition, prosecutors, advocates, and other professionals working with victims often lack training and support regarding the meaning and scope of victims’ rights, the significance of those rights to victims, and how to enforce those rights.
To address these issues, the federal Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has funded a number of legal service initiatives over the years that target increasing victims’ rights assertion and enforcement, including the Wraparound Victim Legal Assistance Network and Increasing Legal Access to Rural Victims of Crime Projects. The most recent of these is the Rights In Systems Enforced – RISE Project. RISE is a national effort built upon lessons learned from previous rights enforcement projects. RISE positions NCVLI as the national training & technical assistance (TTA) provider to six competitively selected subgrantee rights enforcement legal clinics.
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This solicitation is supported by Grant No. 2018-V3-GX-K018, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Project are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.