CONNECTION by accinent


									                                              Victim Compensation
        - M A R C H 2008 -

COMPENSATION PROGRAM PO Box 48, Sacramento, CA 95812-0048 1.800.777.9229

In this issue...                                                       Justice for Victims Benefits All
New Poster Released                                                From the Desk of Karen McGagin, Executive Officer

Victims’ Rights Week

Provider Outreach
        4                                                                unique, but most express the same pri-
                                              In recent years there has been great
                                              progress in ensuring the rights of          orities. They want to be safe and made
                                              victims. Imagine what it must have          whole, their physical and emotional
Arnold Schwarzenegger                         been like before victims’ rights were       wounds healed, offenders held account-
Governor                                      recognized. What if a loved one was         able, and to take part in the criminal
State of California                           murdered, and though a suspect was          justice process. They want their com-
                                              arrested, the victim’s family received      munities to stand behind them as they
Rosario Marin
                                              little or no information about the          strive to rebuild their lives.
Board Chair
Secretary, State and                          arraignment, continuances or other          As a community, we can take steps to
Consumer Services                             critical events in the case. The victim’s   respond to the needs of victims. First,
Agency                                        family was not allowed to deliver an        we can acknowledge that crime affects
                                              impact statement at the sentencing          everyone. Second, we can recognize
John Chiang                                   nor notified that the convicted killer      that victims’ rights promote justice
Board Member                                  was up for release on parole. Until the     – both for victims and for the com-
State Controller                              past few decades, victims of crime and      munity. Finally, we can serve victims
                                              their families endured such disap-          more effectively by helping them to
Michael Ramos                                 pointments and injustices.                  understand their rights, negotiate the
Board Member
                                                                                          criminal justice system, and in access-
District Attorney                             To date, 33 states have amended their
                                                                                          ing needed services.
San Bernardino County                         constitutions to protect these rights.
                                              California was the first state to estab-    Seeking justice for victims serves our
                                              lish a victim compensation program          nation’s highest ideals. As we honor
                                              in 1965. Since that time, the program       victims at ceremonies this National
                                              has provided more than $1.7 billion to      Crime Victims’ Rights Week, let us
                                              help victims of crime.                      commit ourselves to serving them bet-
Helping California Crime Victims Since 1965                                               ter every week of the year. By investing
                                              Despite these advances, there is much
                                                                                          in justice for victims, we move closer to
Karen McGagin                                 more that we can do to serve victims
                                                                                          achieving justice for all.
Executive Officer                             of crime. Every victim’s experience is
VCGCB News                                             New Poster Looks to
                                                   Raise Awareness of Program
                                               A simple message – “Crime Hurts Everybody. We Can Help.” – is the
                                               theme of the new Victim Compensation Program (VCP) poster.
                                               The poster joins the new DVD “Helping Victims Every Day” in an ongoing
                                               multimedia awareness campaign dedicated to reaching every Californian
                                               who may be eligible for assistance from the VCP.
                                               Destined for display in victim-witness centers, law enforcement offices,
                                               hospital emergency rooms, crisis centers and many other locations serv-
                                               ing crime victims, the poster can be ordered by filling out and faxing the
                                               Materials Request Form located in the “Publications Section” of the VCP
                                               A Spanish-language version of the poster is coming soon. The poster and
                                               other VCP informational materials are free of charge.

New Look, New Feel, More Features Fill Board’s Redesigned Website

Special National Crime Victims’ Rights week content is just one highlight of the VCGCB’s updated website. The site has
been redesigned from top to bottom and we’ve added resources to make it more helpful for users.

EXPANDED RESOURCES                                                USER-FRIENDLY DESIGN
    • An “Information for Victim Advocates” page                  • Tab-style navigation along the top of every page helps
    provides advocates with helpful resources. These              users can find links to every key section and page in the
    include an e-mail link to the Board’s victim advocate liai-   site within a few mouse clicks.
    son, access to the “Desk Manual for Victim Advocates,”        • Users can type in keywords to instantly perform a
    and a victim compensation “Application Status Request         Google-powered search of the Board’s website or every
    Form” to request information on behalf of victims who         State of California website.
    have applied to the program.
                                                                  • The site meets leading standards for accessibility by
    • Victim service providers have an expanded section           general users and people with disabilities, such as the
    tailored to their business needs, with information on         vision-impaired who use page-readers to browse the
    billing, benefits and more.                                   Internet.
    • Crime victims from any California county can more
    quickly find contact information for their local Victim
    Witness Assistance Center, including direct e-mail or
    website links to local offices, if available.
    • We’ve posted a Victims’ Rights page with information
    for crime victims and links to additional resources.
    • “Helping Victims Every Day,” our new video, is                                        VISIT
    streaming into the site.
2     Victim Compensation Connection | March 2008
                                                                                      Victims’ Rights Week
“Justice for Victims. Justice for All.”
Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2008
                                         Crime victims and
                                         their friends, family
                                         members, advocates
                                         and allies are prepar-
                                         ing for the annual
The Victim Compensation and Gov-
ernment Claims Board is proud to be      national awareness
a co-sponsor of the upcoming “Miss-      event, Crime Victims’
ing Persons: Information, Resources      Rights Week, April 13-
and Hope” conference. Advocates and      19, 2008.
representatives will be participating
in this important event held during
                                         Victims’ March
the upcoming Victims’ Rights Week.       on the Capitol
                                         The Victim Compensa-
The conference is sponsored by the
                                         tion and Government
Governor’s Office, Crime Victim
Advocate; the Governor’s Office of
                                         Claims Board (VC-       Family members display photos of crime victims
                                         GCB) and other victim
Emergency Services; the Attorney                                 at last year’s Victims’ March on the Capitol.
General’s (AG’s) Office of Victim Ser-   service providers will
vices and the AG’s Missing Persons       show their support with crime victims at the Victims’ March on the Capitol.
and Unidentified Persons Unit; the       This 19th annual event will be held midday on April 16 on the west steps of
VCGCB; and the California Depart-        the State Capitol.
ment of Corrections and Rehabilita-
tion’s Office of Victim and Survivor     The march and rally are highlighted by the moving testimonials of crime
Rights and Services.                     victims and survivors. The event is a chance for victims’ rights to take center
                                         stage, in front of a diverse audience. Everyone, from the youngest child who
The conference takes place Thursday,
April 17, in the Lecture Hall at Mc-     has lost a parent, brother or sister to crime, to the state’s most powerful lead-
George School of Law in Sacramento.      ers, shares the message of victims’ rights.
Registration is free for the all-day
                                         Local Events, Vigils and Ceremonies
conference dedicated to publicizing
resources that can help prevent and      Community focused organizations throughout California will be marking
resolve missing-person cases.            Victims’ Rights Week with local events.

A $10 box lunch is available. A regis-
                                         The VCGCB has published a calendar of these special events along with other
tration form and payment for lunch
                                         resources at A Victims’ Rights Week flyer is
must be submitted by April 8. For
                                         available to download and print. Links to additional materials from the federal
more information, contact:
                                         Office for Victims of Crime are also provided.
California Department of Justice
Conference Services Unit
                                         Additionally, the VCGCB is distributing thousands of victim awareness rib-
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550                bons and other materials to organizations in every California county to help
(916) 445-6557 FAX: (916) 324-5033       them raise awareness of victims’ rights. Specially prepared with this year’s
                                         colors, the Victims’ Rights Week theme – “Justice for Victims. Justice for All.”
 Plan to Attend!                         – printed in blue text on the green ribbon.

                                                                  March 2008 | Victim Compensation Connection                3
Upcoming Events
                                                            DNA/COLD CASE SUMMIT
April 24, 2008                                                 The DNA/Cold Case Summit hosts include:
Sacramento Convention Center                                    • California District Attorneys Association
                                                                • California Police Chiefs Association
“Working With Law Enforcement and Working With Vic-             • California Association of Crime Laboratory Directors
tims’ Families” is just one of the breakout sessions planned    • California State Sheriffs Association
for the DNA/Cold Case Summit on April 24. Other ses-            • Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board
sions include “Developing a Cold Case Unit – Lessons            • Citizens Against Homicide
Learned” and “Legal Challenges for Investigators and            • Institute for the Advancement of Criminal Justice
Prosecutors.”                                                   • California Crime Victim Assistance Association

The summit will also feature expert speakers and a show-       For information on registration, sponsorship or exhibitor
case of the newest strategies and latest technologies for      opportunities, please contact:
investigating and prosecuting cold cases.
                                                               California District Attorneys Association
Among those expected to attend and participate in the          (Reference DNA/Cold Case Summit)
summit are state and local government representatives,         Attention: Suzanne Hunter
crime laboratory directors, criminalists, victims’ rights      921 11th Street, 3rd Floor
organization representatives, victim advocates, members of     Sacramento, CA 95814
law enforcement, homicide/cold case detectives and district    Phone: (916) 443-2017 Fax: (916) 443-2886

                       Provider Publication                    An online version of the publication for viewing or printing
                                                               is available in the “Service Providers” section of the VCGCB
                       Highlights Ongoing                      website, To order hard-
                       Awareness Effort                        copy pamphlets, fill out and fax the Materials Request Form
                                                               located in the “Publications” section of the website.
                      Licensed mental health, medical and
                      dental healthcare providers deliver      VCGCB staff are also meeting directly with mental health
                      vital services to victims of violent     professionals interested in finding out more about the
                      crime. The VCGCB is working in a         VCP. These Provider Information Forums are being held
                      variety of ways to build productive      throughout California.
                      relationships with these service pro-
                                                               Upon request, representatives will travel to meet with
                      viders, and to raise awareness within
                                                               groups of mental health providers and explain the pro-
                      the professional communities about
                                                               gram, resolve issues and answer questions.
the Victim Compensation Program (VCP) and the benefits
of working with crime victims.                                 To request a Provider Information Forum, please contact
                                                               Robin Foemmel Bie, Mental Health Section Manager, at
 A new full-color “Healthcare Provider Information”
                                                               (916) 491-3759, or Janice
pamphlet that provides helpful details on billing, required
                                                               Patton, VCP Manager, at (916) 491-3521, janice.patton@vc-
forms, reimbursement rates and the range of benefits avail-
                                                      You can also use the Information Forum Request
able to crime victims is now available.
                                                               form on our website at

4    Victim Compensation Connection | March 2008

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