Governor Praises Justice Reinvestment Act’s Support for Crime Victims

Governor Hogan praised the components of the Justice Reinvestment Act that address victim’s rights at a conference last week.

As reported in The Washington Post:

Addressing the Crime Victims’ Rights Conference, in Anne Arundel County, Hogan (R) said the legislation, which aims to reduce Maryland’s state prison population and costs by shifting nonviolent drug offenders into treatment, also includes provisions on restitution and funding for victims’ rights programs.

The legislation, known as the Justice Reinvestment Act, requires inmates who are ordered to pay restitution to set aside 25 percent of their inmate earnings for those payments. It also requires the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to study ways to make the collection of restitution more efficient.

“We must make certain that criminals pay victims back for the financial losses caused by their actions,” Hogan said to an audience that included crime victims and their families.

“Decades ago, victims were expected to stay on the sidelines of the criminal justice system, but today that is no longer true,” Hogan said. “Our administration is committed to helping these individuals rebuild and creating a criminal justice system that does not exclude crime victims and holds those who inflict harm accountable for their actions.”

In related news, an article in The Herald-Mail takes an in-depth look at how an expansion of Justice’s Law, which increases sentences for certain cases of child abuse, got amended into the final bill:

Included in the bill was legislation she’d been seeking since 2008, making the crime of child abuse resulting in death punishable with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

It’s an expansion of Justice’s Law, first passed in 2012, which increased the maximum sentence from 30 to 40 years. A life maximum, however, was the law’s original intent when it was first proposed six years ago. Myers and her family traveled to Annapolis to testify every year until the bill was passed, and again this year when Wilson filed legislation to expand the maximum to life when the victim is under 13.

For more information read the full articles in The Washington Post and The Herald-Mail.