Health and Recovery of California Victims, Senate Bill 519
Endorsed by District Attorney Gascón and authored by Senator Loni Hancock, the Health and Recovery of California Victims Act makes treatment and services more accessible to traumatized victims of crime.
Cycle of Victimization
Research supports the idea that today’s victims can become tomorrow’s offenders. Studies have found victimization and delinquency largely overlap, with most victims engaging in delinquency and most delinquents being victimized at some point in their lives (Lauritsen, Laub, and Sampson, 1992; Lauritsen, Sampson, and Laub, 1991; Singer, 1986). It is imperative victims have the resources to heal in a timely manner after they experience trauma.
Removing Barriers to Recovery
For victims of crime, SB 519 makes it more streamlined to receive counseling and financial support from the Victims Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB):
- Victims of crime now have access to mental health counseling regardless of their probation status
- Witnesses, who are minors and victims of crime, can receive compensation whether they assist law enforcement or not
- A victim no longer has to submit documents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Franchise Tax Board (FTB), Board of Equalization (BOE), Social Security Administration (SSA), or Employment Development Department (EDD) in order to be eligible for compensation
- Adult witnesses to a crime now have access to Victim of Crime counseling
- Elderly victims of financial crimes are now entitled to Victim of Crime counseling
- Victims can receive more money for funeral expenses and relocation
- Any appeals concerning reimbursement applications must now be processed within 90 days
- Letters from the VCGCB to victims who apply for compensation must be translated into English, Spanish, and Chinese (if requested/necessary)
Status: Effective as of January 2016