Letter to Governor and Legislature
To the HONORABLE ANDREW M. CUOMO, GOVERNOR
To the HONORABLE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
It is my pleasure to present to you the Office of Victim Services (OVS or Office) Annual Report for fiscal year 2011-2012. As you know, Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2010 eliminated the Crime Victims Board and created the Office of Victim Services. While our name has changed and our organizational structure has been modified, the agency’s commitment to its mission remains steadfast – providing compensation, advocacy and direct services through a network of victim assistance program, to the State’s innocent victims of crime. The 2011-2012 fiscal year presented significant challenges for OVS. It is only through the continued support of both the Governor and the Legislature that the Office has been able to continue to meet its stated mission. The information presented in this Annual Report will demonstrate that the agency readily faced these challenges to ensure that the State’s innocent victims of crime continued to be well-served. Some of the most significant activities of the agency during this fiscal year included:
- Staffing increased from 75 to 78 FTE.
- Advanced legislation (Departmental Bill #7) to ensuring certain compensation awards for victims of criminal obstruction or breathing or blood circulation. Governor Cuomo enacted this measure into law as Chapter 534 of the Laws of 2011.
- Adopted regulations related to the submission of claim applications and changes of contact information to the Office of Victim Services, specifying where and how claim applications and changes to contact information may be delivered to the Office.
- Accepted 17,804 claims and disbursed $28,996,171 in compensation to innocent victims of crime in New York State.
Though challenged, the Office of Victim Services has had a very successful year. Our continued efforts with the Governor and Legislature will ensure that the State’s innocent victims of crime will continue to be well-served by an agency poised and equipped to serve them.
Tina M. Stanford, Esq.
Office of Victim Services