Crime Victims Week 2020
Each year California observes Crime Victims Week to focus on problems confronting crime victims and the services available to support them.
In February, I introduced ACR 167 to declare the week of April 19-25 as Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Unfortunately, COVID-19 prevented further action on this resolution. Crimes cause a tremendous toll – death, physical injury, mental trauma, financial losses.
Victim rights must be respected every day. The voices of victims must be heard 365 days a year, and I will continue to be a voice for those who have been victims of crime in our community. A current decision by the California Judicial Council to have zero bail for some offenses, appeared to forget the victim. I stand with victims and their rights. There really is no such category as a “victimless crime.”
Public health must be protected, but we must do all we can to protect victims without further traumatizing them with policies that fail to take them into account.
I also want to celebrate our state’s record in assisting victims and preventing crime. California has been an innovator in the victims’ right movement:
- Our state established the first crime victim compensation program in the nation as early as 1965.
- In 1976, Women’s Advocates and Haven House in Pasadena established the first shelters for battered women in the United States.
- In 1980, Mothers Against Drunk Driving created its first chapter in Sacramento.
- In 2008, California voters reaffirmed and provided additional crime victim rights by approving Proposition 9, the Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008 also known as Marsy’s Law which sought to protect and expand the rights of crime victims across the state.
Some, but not all, of those protections include:
- Allowing the victim to be reasonably protected from the defendant;
- To have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered in fixing bail amounts and release conditions for the defendant;
- To prevent the disclosure of confidential information or records to the defendant;
- Restitution: My 2019 bill, AB 433, which was signed into law, closed a loophole in Marsy’s Law and now requires that victims and district attorneys be notified when convicted defendants seek early termination of probation, especially when they have not fully met their obligation for restitution.
Assemblymember James Ramos proudly represents the 40th Assembly district which includes Highland, Loma Linda, Mentone, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, and San Bernardino.