A Plan To Protect Innocent Crime Victims In Jersey [AUDIO]
Legislation designed to help crime victims in the Garden state could soon be passed by the Lower House.
The measure would enhance existing law by making several amendments to the Jersey Crime Victim's Bill of Rights, by ensuring that victims would be protected from harassment and abuse by defendants and their supporters, be notified of schedule changes in a timely manner, be compensated for losses whenever possible, and receive medical assistance related to the incident they were involved with.
Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose says the idea is "to ease the additional burden on victims of crimes that have to deal with specifically the court process…we want to make sure that victims are treated with the utmost respect and are given a courtesy, even at such a simple thing as saying - you know what we've decided to change things, or something has come up, we're postponing this…we were trying to lessen the burden of reopening the horrible wound they have gone through when they have been the victim of a crime."
She says under the current justice system, victims sometime feel "that the person that has committed the crime gets afforded more courtesy and attention than they do…these people that are victims of a crime, have gone through a traumatic event as it is, and then to have more dumped on them so to speak, mistreated sometimes, is just not right…we really feel that this is just a small gesture that we can do to help them ease their pain."
Mchose adds she's hopeful the bill will be passed before the end of the lame duck legislative session.
The bipartisan legislation (A-2558) , which has been released by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, is also sponsored by Assembly representatives Alex DeCroce, Bob Schroeder, Celeste Riley and Nelson Albano.