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H.614

Introduced by Representatives Larson of Burlington and Pugh of S. Burlington

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Appropriation; center for crime victim services; parallel justice demonstration

Statement of purpose:  This bill would appropriate funds to the Vermont center for crime victim services for the purpose of a parallel justice demonstration project.

AN ACT RELATING TO AN APPROPRIATION FOR A PARALLEL JUSTICE DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

(a)  The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Crime in Vermont directly affects the lives of thousands of citizens, including children, elders, and vulnerable populations each year; and

(2)  The trauma of victimization has a negative impact on crime victims' employment, housing, health, mental health, and financial stability; and

(3)  There are significant gaps in services for victims of violent and nonviolent crimes in Vermont in the areas of compensation, housing, employment, child care, transportation, and legal services; and

(4)  Crime victims are often not eligible for or unable to access services from many of Vermont's human service agencies; and

(5)  The criminal justice system is not designed to meet the needs of crime victims because its focus is on holding offenders accountable and providing for their rehabilitation.

(b)  Therefore, a parallel system of justice is needed that is a coordinated community response to crime victims on both the state and local level to marshal existing governmental and community resources in order to respond to the needs of crime victims and help them recover from the aftermath of crime.

Sec. 2.  APPROPRIATION; CRIME VICTIM SERVICES

There is appropriated from the general fund for fiscal year 2007 the amount of $80,000 to the Vermont center for crime victim services for the purpose of a parallel justice demonstration project.  The Vermont center for crime victim services shall select a local unit of government or community in the state for the establishment of a demonstration project through a statewide request for proposal (RFP) process designed and administered by the center.  The criteria used to select a local governmental unit or community to implement the demonstration project shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1)  The community must have an operational community justice center that adheres to principles of restorative justice, is victim-centered, and is willing to take on a leadership role to create and implement a parallel justice demonstration project.

(2)  The community must have a local police department that works collaboratively with the community justice center and is willing to participate in the creation and implementation of the parallel justice demonstration project.

(3)  The community must have a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with local victim service organizations, local businesses, and other community services to serve crime victims.

(4)  The local governmental officials of the community must commit to providing in-kind and cash contributions to the project; and to work collaboratively with the center for crime victim services in the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a parallel justice demonstration project.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us