ADVISORY COUNCIL TO THE OFFICE OF VICTIM SERVICES
Article 22, §623(14) empowers the Office of Victim Services to establish an advisory council “to assist in formulation of policies on the problems of crime victims.” The Office of Victim Services established an Advisory Council on victims’ issues. The Council is comprised of members appointed by the Office who have demonstrated an active interest in or obtained professional knowledge of the problems, needs and treatment of victims. At least one member shall be a victim/survivor who is not employed by a victim service agency. Additionally, members of the Legislature or other individuals having a special interest in victim issues shall be invited by the Office to participate on the Council as ex-officio members. To the extent possible, members shall be chosen to ensure representation for each geographic region within the state, and for the various disciplines in the fields of social services and criminal justice which impact upon victims. Membership shall reflect the diversity of the state and its people. In the spirit of this diversity, the Office shall endeavor to maintain a significant level of representation of minority populations. The Office shall solicit nominations from the council, coalitions, and other interested parties on a regular basis for new members. These nominations will be funneled through the nominating committee but all appointments shall be made by the Office. At the first meeting of the New Year, the council shall elect a President and Vice-President.
The Advisory Council is structured into five standing committees. The Committees regularly report to the Office on important issues impacting crime victims and also provides updates on assignments provided at the start of each new Council year. The Council year is September through August with meetings held on a quarterly basis.