Last week, in recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef of the 90th Assembly District helped pass legislation that would authorize the courts to revoke firearms licenses and seize weapons of individuals who have been ordered into treatment or committed to a mental health facility. “This common sense safety measure should help keep guns out of the hands of people who may not be capable of safely owning them,” said Galef.
She also voted to add money to the Crime Victim’s Board to expand the eligibility for compensation to people who have had significant and long-term relationships with homicide victims. They would be eligible for out-of-pocket losses and counseling expenses. Galef explained, “In many cases, their lives are changed forever and this is a way we can make sure that they have the support they need to try to recover.” Legislation also passed the Assembly changing the reporting requirements of restitution and fair treatment standards for the Office of Victims Services, which will allow for a better analysis to help meet the needs of crime victims.
These bills were part of a package of legislation that passed the Assembly aimed at providing reliable funding as well as an expansion of the mandate of the Crime Victim’s Board over the next few years. Additional legislation passed the Assembly to ensure that victims of rape who are found to be at risk from HIV/AIDS are provided with post exposure treatment and follow-up. Another bill which passed the Assembly would ensure that the records of parole interviews of sex offenders will be transmitted to the Office of Mental Health for review by the civil commitment case review panel. “All these bills taken together should strengthen protections for crime victims and provide important services they need to recover and rebuild their lives,” concluded Galef.