Topic:
APPOINTMENT TO OFFICE; CRIME VICTIMS; EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE NOMS. COMMITTEE; STATE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES;
Location:
EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE;

OLR Research Report


April 9, 2008

 

2008-R-0265

QUESTIONS FOR THE VICTIM ADVOCATE NOMINEE

By: Gerald Barrett, Legislative Fellow

Meghan Reilly, Legislative Fellow

1. Connecticut's victim advocate must be an attorney with the training and education necessary to do the job. How has your experience as a prosecutor prepared you for this position?

2. How do you plan to work with other departments, such as the Board of Pardons and Parole, and the witness protection program to better ensure the safety of victims?

3. There recently have been several high-profile home invasion cases in Connecticut. How can the legislature protect people before they become victims? What rights should the families of home invasion victims have? What services should be available to them?

4. The ultimate objective of the Office of the Victim Advocate (OVA) is to help improve the way Connecticut's criminal justice system treats crime victims. How would you rate the job that the office is currently doing? What are some of your ideas for improving it?

5. By law, OVA may file a limited special appearance in certain court proceedings to advocate for a victim. This authority does not extend to infractions or misdemeanors that do not involve the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person (CGS 46a-13g). How do you think the law should be amended to consider cases that do not involve physical violence?

6. Judicial victim advocates no longer provide advocacy services to victims who do not sustain physical injury. Should the law be amended to incorporate those that have been victims of emotional abuse?

7. By law, crime victims must get formal, written notice of their rights from court-based victim services advocates. One of the most frequent complaints of crime victims is that they are not informed of all their rights. How would you address this problem? How will you ensure that crime victims get notice of, and the opportunity to participate in, court proceedings?

8. As the victim advocate you must make every attempt to advise the public about victims' rights and available services in the state. What methods or techniques do you plan to employ to better educate them and the general public about OVA's services?

9. While the number of crimes statewide has decreased, certain communities have seen substantial increases in crime. How will your efforts in these communities differ from those in other communities?

10. What are the rights of the wrongly accused or wrongly convicted? Do they overlap with the rights of victims?

11. Some people are especially susceptible to crime, namely the elderly and mentally or physically disabled. How do you plan to ensure their rights are not violated?

GB/MR:ts