HB459 (2009) – 2009-01-20 revision

Relative to access to restorative justice programs by victims of crime.


Status: SIGNED BY GOVERNOR (Details)
Length: 585 words.

Revisions of this bill in our system:

 HouseSenate
Public hearing:2009-03-03 13:30:00 LOB 2042009-05-26 00:00:00
Executive session:2009-03-05 13:30:00(unscheduled)
Floor vote:2009-03-24 00:00:002009-06-03 00:00:00

HB 459 – AS INTRODUCED

2009 SESSION

09-0270

04/01

HOUSE BILL 459

AN ACT relative to access to restorative justice programs by victims of crime.

SPONSORS: Rep. Cushing, Rock 15

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

ANALYSIS

This bill:

I. Adds the right to access to restorative justice programs including victim-initiated victim-offender dialogue programs offered through the department of corrections to the victim bill of rights and requires the office of victim/witness assistance to ensure the availability of and access to such programs.

II. Adds the victim-offender dialogue program to the department of corrections under the supervision of the victim services coordinator.

III. Requires that one member of the adult parole board be a crime victim or a member of a crime victim’s family.

IV. Defines “victim” for the purposes of victim’s assistance and the victim’s bill of rights to include the surviving partner in a civil union.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

09-0270

04/01

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine

AN ACT relative to access to restorative justice programs by victims of crime.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Subparagraph; Department of Corrections; General Functions. Amend RSA 21-H:3, II by inserting after subparagraph (c) the following new subparagraph:

(d) Ensuring that victims of crime are treated in a manner consistent with RSA 21-M:8-k.

2 New Paragraph; Department of Corrections; Internal Organization Units. Amend RSA 21-H:4 by inserting after paragraph VI the following new paragraph:

VII. The victim-offender dialogue program which shall be a victim-initiated, voluntary program to assist crime victims who seek access to restorative justice programs as provided under RSA 21-M:8-k, II(u), under the direction of the victim services coordinator who shall:

(a) Implement and oversee the program.

(b) Advocate for the rights of crime victims.

(c) Provide corrections-based victim services including but not limited to:

(1) Notification of offender status changes.

(2) Victim-initiated victim-offender dialogue.

(3) Advocacy, safety, and support for victims during reduced custody, offender re-entry, and hearings of the adult parole board.

Participation in the program shall not affect the court’s decision relative to sentencing, parole, or other types of supervised or unsupervised release programs.

3 Office of Victim/Witness Assistance; Definitions. Amend RSA 21-M:8-b, I(a) to read as follows:

(a) “Victim” means a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional or psychological harm as the result of the commission or the attempted commission of a crime. “Victim” also includes the immediate family of any victim who is a minor or who is incompetent, or the immediate family of a homicide victim, or the surviving partner in a civil union.

4 Rights of Crime Victims; Definitions. Amend RSA 21-M:8-k, I(a) to read as follows:

(a) “Victim” means a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional, psychological or financial harm as a result of the commission or the attempted commission of a crime. “Victim” also includes the immediate family of any victim who is a minor or who is incompetent, or the immediate family of a homicide victim, or the surviving partner in a civil union.

5 New Paragraph; Office of Victim/Witness Assistance; Victim-Offender Dialogue Program. Amend RSA 21-M:8-b by inserting after paragraph III the following new paragraph:

III-a. The office of victim/witness assistance shall ensure the availability of and access to restorative justice programs including victim-initiated victim-offender dialogue programs offered through the department of corrections.

6 New Subparagraph; Rights of Crime Victims. Amend RSA 21-M:8-k, II by inserting after subparagraph (t) the following new subparagraph:

(u) The right to access to restorative justice programs, including victim-initiated victim-offender dialogue programs offered through the department of corrections.

7 Adult Parole Board; Establishment. Amend RSA 651-A:3, I to read as follows:

I. There shall be an adult parole board with 7 members, one of whom shall be a person who was a victim of crime or a member of a crime victim’s family. The members of the board shall be appointed by the governor with the consent of the council for staggered terms of 5 years or until their successors are appointed. No member shall serve more than 2 consecutive terms. A vacancy on the board shall be filled for the unexpired term. The governor shall designate one member as chairman, and the chairman shall designate one other member to serve as chairman in his absence. In the case of a revocation hearing an attorney of the board shall be present at the hearing. Board members shall be paid $100 a day plus mileage at the state employee rate while engaged in parole hearings or administrative meetings.

8 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.