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Post date: April 29 1999

Spitzer Forms Crime Victims Advisory Board

To empower survivors of crime and guarantee that victims rights are considered throughout the criminal justice process, Attorney General Spitzer today announced the formation of his Crime Victims Advisory Board. The 30-member panel includes crime victims' advocates from across the state.

"Thanks to the efforts of both survivors and family members, the victims' rights movement has come a long way over the past two decades," said Spitzer. "But still more needs to be done to insure that those who are the victims of crimes are not victimized a second time by the system."

Among those Spitzer is appointing to the Board are New York City Police Detective Stephen McDonald who was shot and paralyzed while on duty in 1986; Freddie Hamilton who following the death of her son, recently became the first person to successfully sue the gun industry in a liability case; and Gay LeClerc Quader, the Executive Director of the Rochester branch of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. (See attached list)

"I am going to rely heavily on the members of this board to be the voice of victims and their families. Their input on topics including emergency medical and social services, counseling and treatment programs, and financial restitution will help me ensure that we do everything we possibly can for victims and their families," Spitzer said.

In discharging its responsibilities, the A.G.'s Advisory Board will:

  • Develop strategies through which defendants can be required to redress the harm caused to their victims and communities;
  • Improve standards and training for crime victim service providers and other professionals and;
  • Enhance coordination and cooperation among law enforcement agencies, neighborhood crime prevention programs and victim assistance projects.

Spitzer made the announcement at John Jay College in Manhattan in conjunction with Crime Victims' Rights Week.