In 1985 the Crime Victims Rights Act created comprehensive rights of notification and participation in all stages of the criminal justice process for felony crime victims in Michigan. In 1988 the law was amended to include the victims of serious misdemeanors and juvenile offenses.
Many amendments significantly improving on the implementation and scope of services have since been made. The law creates a duty for police agencies, sheriffs, the Department of Corrections, prosecuting attorneys, courts and other agencies to include crime victims within the formal conduct of investigative, judicial, sentencing and post sentencing proceedings.
The county prosecuting attorney provides a substantial amount of additional case management and advocacy work under the Act. Capable and dedicated victim advocates in prosecutors' offices throughout the state perform much of these duties.
Contact your Michigan prosecutor and sheriff for more information about crime victim's rights in your community.
A recent advancement to crime victim notification is the Michigan Crime Victim Notification Network. This automated notification system greatly enhances victim safety and convenience while providing added response capabilities for agencies implementing crime victims rights.
MI-VINE is a free, confidential 24-hour telephone-computer interface that allows crime victims and other citizens to register to receive almost instantaneous telephone notice whenever a prisoner's custody status changes.
Notifications produced by the system include the majority of crime victim rights act requirements, including court schedule information. MI-VINE also provides immediate information to callers wishing to determine the current custody status of a prisoner.
Department of Community Health partners in this project include the Department of Corrections, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan and the Michigan Sheriffs Association.
Upon legislative approval of House Joint Resolution P, 84th Legislature, and Proposal B by the electorate on November 8, 1988, Article I, Section 24 was added to the Constitution of the State of Michigan.
Effective December 24, 1988, the amendment gave constitutional authority for the statutory rights of crime victims, provided legislative authority to enforce victims rights, and provided legislative authority to assess convicted defendants to pay for crime victim's rights.
This act provides for criminal assessments to support the Crime Victims Rights Fund. It authorizes courts to order and collect financial assessments from criminal defendants to support the fund, and provides for disbursements from the fund to support crime victim rights services.
The Crime Victim Services Commission is charged with recommending appropriate assessment amounts and with authorizing disbursements from the fund. This act has been amended several times to increase assessment amounts and the scope of assessable offenses.
The fund provides 100 percent of state dollars for crime victim rights services. No general tax dollars are used.