Substitute House Bill No. 5359

Public Act No. 99-37

An Act Concerning the Victim Advocate and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 46a-13c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Victim Advocate may, within available appropriations:

(1) Evaluate the delivery of services to victims by state agencies and those entities that provide services to victims, including the delivery of services to families of victims by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner;

(2) Coordinate and cooperate with other private and public agencies concerned with the implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the constitutional rights of victims and enter into cooperative agreements with public or private agencies for the furtherance of the constitutional rights of victims;

(3) Review the procedures established by any state agency or other entity providing services to victims with respect to the constitutional rights of victims;

(4) Receive and review complaints of persons concerning the actions of any state or other entity providing services to victims and investigate those where it appears that a victim or family of a victim may be in need of assistance from the Victim Advocate;

(5) File a limited special appearance in any court proceeding for the purpose of advocating for a victim:

(A) The right to notification of court proceedings;

(B) The right to attend the trial and all other court proceedings the accused has the right to attend, unless such person is to testify and the court determines that such person's testimony would be materially affected if such person hears other testimony;

(C) The right to object to or support any plea agreement entered into by the accused and the prosecution and to make a statement to the court prior to the acceptance by the court of the plea of guilty or nolo contendere by the accused;

(D) The right to make a statement to the court at sentencing;

(E) The right to restitution which shall be enforceable in the same manner as any other cause of action or as otherwise provided by law; and

(F) The right to information about the arrest, conviction, sentence, imprisonment and release of the accused;

(6) Ensure a centralized location for victim services information;

(7) Recommend changes in state policies concerning victims, including changes in the system of providing victim services;

(8) Conduct programs of public education, undertake legislative advocacy, and make proposals for systemic reform;

(9) Take appropriate steps to advise the public of the services of the Office of the Victim Advocate, the purpose of the office and procedures to contact the office.

Sec. 2. (NEW) The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner shall develop and publish a brochure concerning an explanation of the laws, regulations, procedures and practices of the office and the rights of families of persons whose bodies are in custody of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Approved May 27, 1999

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