Assembly Joint Resolution No. 17 (First Reprint)
A Joint Resolution designating 1[April 22 through April 28] the last full week in April1 as “Crime Victims’ Rights Week” in New Jersey.
Whereas, 1[In 2005, 23 million Americans over the age of 12 years old were the victims of crime, and these criminal victimizations included an estimated 18 million property crimes, 5.2 million violent crimes, and 227,000 personal thefts] According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, in 2008, residents of the United States 12 years of age or older were victims of more than 21 million crimes, which consisted of 4.9 million violent crimes, 16.3 million property crimes, and 136,700 personal thefts1; and
Whereas, 1[In the United States in 2004-2005, there were an average annual 200,780 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault] According to the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Resource Guide, in 2008, 203,830 rapes or sexual assaults were committed against victims 12 years of age or older1, and more than half of these sex crimes were unreported; and
1Whereas, According to the New Jersey 2010 Uniform Crime Report, in 2008, 28,281 violent crimes were committed and 198,896 nonviolent crimes were committed, which amounts to one violent crime committed against victims every 18 minutes and 35 seconds and one nonviolent crime committed against victims every two minutes and 39 seconds; and1
Whereas, All fifty states and the District of Columbia have passed laws giving crime victims certain legal rights, including: the right to attend and be heard at criminal justice proceedings; the right to be notified of available services and of the status of the offender; and the right to receive an order of restitution and apply for compensation; and
Whereas, In 2004, the United States Congress passed the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, which gives victims of violent crime the right to be present at federal criminal justice public proceedings, the right to be notified at critical points in the justice process, and the legal standing to have those rights enforced; and
Whereas, As crime victims’ rights are carried into 1 20101 and beyond, society must strive to protect, restore, and expand crime victims’ rights and services so that they apply to every victim, every time; and
Whereas, Establishing a “Crime Victims’ Rights Week,” 1[April 22 through April 28] the last full week of April of each year1, offers the opportunity to recommit the State of New Jersey to ensuring that every victim is afforded his or her legal rights and treated as a crucial participant in our criminal justice system; and
Whereas, “Crime Victims’ Rights Week” in this State will serve to celebrate the progress that has been made in crime victims’ rights and services and build public awareness about the many challenges that still face victims in the aftermath of crime; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Legislature hereby designates 1[April 22 through April 28] the last full week in April1 of each year as “Crime Victims’ Rights Week” in New Jersey. In so doing, the Legislature will be drawing attention to victims’ rights and ensure that every individual who is victimized by crime is provided compassionate and adequate support to recover from the impact of crime and is given the opportunity to participate fully in the criminal justice system.
2. The Governor is requested to annually issue a proclamation calling upon public officials and the citizens of this State to observe the week with appropriate activities and programs.
3. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.
Designates last full week in April as “Crime Victims’ Rights Week.”