New York Consolidated Laws, Executive Law - EXC § 642. Criteria for fair treatment standards

Such fair treatment standards shall provide that:

1. The victim of a violent felony offense, a felony involving physical injury to the victim, a felony involving property loss or damage in excess of two hundred fifty dollars, a felony involving attempted or threatened physical injury or property loss or damage in excess of two hundred fifty dollars or a felony involving larceny against the person shall, unless he or she refuses or is unable to cooperate or his or her whereabouts are unknown, be consulted by the district attorney in order to obtain the views of the victim regarding disposition of the criminal case by dismissal, plea of guilty or trial.  In such a case in which the victim is a minor child, or in the case of a homicide, the district attorney shall, unless the family refuses or is unable to cooperate or his, her or their whereabouts are unknown, consult for such purpose with the family of the victim.  In addition, the district attorney shall, unless he or she (or, in the case in which the victim is a minor child or a victim of homicide, his or her family) refuses or is unable to cooperate or his, her or their whereabouts are unknown, consult and obtain the views of the victim or family of the victim, as appropriate, concerning the release of the defendant in the victim's case pending judicial proceedings upon an indictment, and concerning the availability of sentencing alternatives such as community supervision and restitution from the defendant.  The failure of the district attorney to so obtain the views of the victim or family of the victim shall not be cause for delaying the proceedings against the defendant nor shall it affect the validity of a conviction, judgment or order.

2. The victims and other prosecution witnesses shall, where possible, be provided, when awaiting court appearances, a secure waiting area that is separate from all other witnesses.

2-a. (a) All police departments, as that term is defined in subdivision a of section eight hundred thirty-seven-c of this chapter, district attorneys' offices and presentment agencies, as that term is defined in subdivision twelve of section 301.2 of the family court act , shall provide a private setting for interviewing victims of a crime defined in article one hundred thirty or section 255.25 , 255.26 or 255.27 of the penal law .  For purposes of this subdivision, “private setting” shall mean an enclosed room from which the occupants are not visible or otherwise identifiable, and whose conversations cannot be heard, from outside such room.  Only (i) those persons directly and immediately related to the interviewing of a particular victim, (ii) the victim, (iii) a social worker, rape crisis counselor, psychologist or other professional providing emotional support to the victim, unless the victim objects to the presence of such person and requests the exclusion of such person from the interview, and (iv) where appropriate, the parent or parents of the victim, if requested by the victim, shall be present during the interview of the victim.

(b) All police departments, as that term is defined in subdivision a of section eight hundred thirty-seven-c of this chapter, shall provide victims of a crime defined in article one hundred thirty of the penal law with the name, address, and telephone of the nearest rape crisis center in writing.

3. Law enforcement agencies and district attorneys shall promptly return property held for evidentiary purposes unless there is a compelling reason for retaining it relating to proof at trial.

4. The victim or witness who so requests shall be assisted by law enforcement agencies and district attorneys in informing employers that the need for victim and witness cooperation in the prosecution of the case may necessitate absence of that victim or witness from work.  In addition, a victim or witness who, as a direct result of a crime or of cooperation with law enforcement agencies or the district attorney in the investigation or prosecution of a crime is unable to meet obligations to a creditor, creditors or others should be assisted by such agencies or the district attorney in providing to such creditor, creditors or others accurate information about the circumstances of the crime, including the nature of any loss or injury suffered by the victim, or about the victim's or witness' cooperation, where appropriate.

5. Victim assistance education and training, with special consideration to be given to victims of domestic violence, sex offense victims, elderly victims, child victims, and the families of homicide victims, shall be given to persons taking courses at state law enforcement training facilities and by district attorneys so that victims may be promptly, properly and completely assisted.


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