Victim Services

Municipal Court Conference
May 9, 2013
Laramie, Wyoming
Division’s Primary Responsibilities
 The Division of Victim Services is a division within the
Office of the Attorney General.
 Determine eligibility for crime victims’ compensation
 Manage state and federal funds granted to local victim
service providers
 Monitor local programs for compliance
 Provide outreach and education regarding victims’
rights and victim services
Victim Service Providers in Wyoming
 24 DV/SA providers - 1 in each county and 1 on the WRIR
 10 V/W programs in Prosecuting Attorney's Offices
 11 V/W Programs in Law Enforcement Agencies
 6 Dual DV/SA - VW Programs
 2 Independent V/W programs
 1 USM, 1 FBI, 1 DOC and 1 BOP
 4 CASA Programs
 3 Child Advocacy Centers
 1 Family Justice Center
Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in a
 Be treated with compassion, respect and sensitivity within
the criminal justice system.
Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in a Nutshell
 The right to know the whereabouts of the offender.
Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in a Nutshell
 The right to receive restitution from the offender.
Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in a Nutshell
 The right to know all rights under this law,
including information about services and victims
assistance at the local level.
Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in a Nutshell
 The right to know about victims’ compensation.
Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in a Nutshell
 The right to reasonable protection and safety and the right
to know of legal recourse if threatened.
Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in a Nutshell
 The right to prompt return of property.
Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in a Nutshell
 The right to preservation of employment while
participating in the criminal justice process.
Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in a Nutshell
 The right to be informed about the opportunity to
make a victim impact statement at sentencing and
parole hearings.
Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in a Nutshell
 The right to be present at trial.
Important Statutes
 Compensation
 W.S. 1-40-101 et seq.
Established the Crime
Victim’s Compensation
Determines who is eligible
What will be covered
 Division of Victim
 W.S. 9-1-638
 Established the Division
and outlines our duties
 Tangible
 Intangible
 Property
 Control
 Money
 Self Respect
 Loved
 Faith
 Pets
 Life
 Trust
 Freedom
 Medical Assistance
 Venting…to tell their story
 To feel safe…to be safe
 To have control over their lives—ability to make
 Understanding what is happening to them…what will
happen next
 Financial assistance
Crime Victim Compensation
 Mission: To assist crime victims with out-of-pocket
expenses incurred due to crime
 Program was established for victims who have
sustained actual physical harm or actual mental
harm because of the criminal act perpetrated
against them
Definition of a Victim:
 A person who suffers personal injury or
death as a direct result of:
 Criminal act of another person
 Attempting to prevent a criminal act, assisting
 Assisting another person or attempting to stop a
criminal act
 Federal Crime
 Resident killed or injured by an act of terrorism.
Compensation Statistics
 During SFY2012, 566 claims were received in
our office
 482 claims approved
 $1,478,745.89 was paid out to crime victims
injured in Wyoming
 $1,178,929.30 Medical/Dental
 $108,735.39 Mental Health
 Remainder of funds for: Economic Support,
Funeral/Burial, Crime Scene Clean-Up, SANE Exams,
and “other”
Where Does The Money Come
 Surcharge fees
 Federal Victims of Crime Act Program
 Restitution/Recovery from Offenders
Compensable Crimes Include:
 Homicide
 Kidnapping
 Sexual Assault
 Robbery
 Child Physical Abuse
 Assault
 Child Sexual Abuse
 Indecent Liberties w/a
 Certain Vehicular
 Domestic Violence
Related Crimes
 Acts of Terrorism on US
Soil and Abroad
 Crime had to occur in Wyoming
 Some proof a crime was committed is required
 Arrest NOT required
 Prosecution is NOT required
 Conviction is NOT required
Compensable Losses Include:
 Mental Health Counseling and Care
 Medical, Dental & Hospital Service
 Articles Taken As Evidence
 Out-of-pocket expenses
 Funeral/Burial Expenses
 Loss of Earnings
 Loss of Support for Dependants
 Mileage Expense
 to/from medical appointments
 Victim Bill of Rights W.S. 1-40-203 (D)(iv) states
that victim should be informed of the State’s
compensation program
 “To be provided information about compensation
available under the Crime Victims Compensation Act as
provided in W.S. 1-40-101 through 1-40-119.”
Compensation Eligibility
 Who is eligible
 Who is not eligible
 Contributory conduct
Crime Reporting Requirements
(Eligibility Requirements)
 Crime should be reported to law
 Some verification that a crime occurred is
 The victim suffered physical/mental injury
as a result of the criminal act.
 Victim should cooperate with the
investigation and prosecution.
Timely Filing Requirements
 Adult claims must be filed within one year
from the date the crime was committed.
 Children, one year from the date the crime
was reported.
 Exceptions:
 May be extended for “good cause”
 People who are injured during the commission of a
 People incarcerated or in a community correctional
facility at the time of the crime
 Victims of property crimes
 People who commit a felony after filing for
 People who commit a misdemeanor personal crime
after filing for compensation
 People who file a claim after the expiration date
Contributory Conduct
 Reductions
 From 15% to 85%
 Reductions are cumulative
 Violating conditions of bond, probation or parole
 Knowingly and willingly entering a vehicle driven by an
intoxicated person
 Assisting, attempting to commit or committing a
misdemeanor criminal act
 Driving without a license or under suspension
 Driving without insurance
 25% reduction
 Provoking the offender in
a manner where bodily
harm is likely
 Failure to retreat or
withdraw when an option
to do so is readily available
 15% reduction
 Use of obscene/fighting
words or threatening
 Poor judgment due to
alcohol consumption
 Victim continues to
provoke the offender
escalating the situation
(i.e. road rage)
Denial of Claims
 Victim was assisting, attempting to commit or
committing a felony crime
 Mutual combat—victim challenges or is challenged to
fight and accepts the challenge
 Victim is incarcerated at the time of the incident
 Victim was at the time of the crime, under felony
 Victim is charged with DUI/DWI or Reckless Driving
 Traffic offenses/ Property Crimes (not eligible)
W.S. 1-40-104(b)(i):
Police Reports and Records
 The division is empowered to request access to
any reports of investigation, medical records, or
other data necessary to assist the division in
making a determination of eligibility for
compensation. Upon authorization of the
Attorney General, law enforcement officials,
state agencies, and local government units shall
provide assistance or information requested by
the division.
Compensation Limits
 $15,000 per claim per victim per crime
 $4,000 per calendar year for counseling
 $500 limit on articles taken as evidence
 $500 limit on crime scene clean-up
 $1,500 limit on benefits for associated
 $10,000 catastrophic loss (available in some
Catastrophic Injury
 W.S. 1-40-102 (c) (xi) Permanent disability
of limbs or functions as a result of being a
victim of a crime
 Provides an extra $10,000 to aid the victim
for lost wages, special home or vehicle
renovations, special home health care,
special education or training (not covered
by other resources)
 The victim may appeal a claim which has been
denied or reduced
 Appeal Process
 30 days from the date of the award notice
 Appeal needs to be in writing
 Appeal needs to come from the victim/claimant
 Reviewed and back to victim/claimant in 60 days
Division Staff
Cara Boyle Chambers, Director
Steve Gilmore, Deputy Director
Cathy McDonald, Administrative Assistant
Jamie Chavez, Special Projects Program Mgr.
Jean Courts, Compensation Claims Specialist
Nanette Alaniz, Program Manager
Kandice Hansen, Program Manager
Traci Hodgins, Program Manager
Cara Boyle Chambers
Director, Division of Victim Services
Office of the Attorney General
122 West 25th Street
Herschler Building, 1st Floor West
Cheyenne, WY
307-777-7200 phone
307-777-6683 fax