For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Contact on behalf of Alliance for Safety and Justice: [email protected]
GOVERNOR DEWINE SIGNS SB 36, EXPANDING ACCESS TO VICTIM SUPPORT AND HELPING STOP CYCLES OF CRIME
After Years of Advocacy by Crime Survivors, SB 36 Will Improve Safety by Reducing Barriers to Ohio’s Victim Compensation Program
COLUMBUS – In a victory for Ohio crime survivors, Governor Mike DeWine signed into law today SB 36, reducing barriers to the state’s victim compensation program and helping to end cycles of crime. The legislation passed the legislature with bipartisan support and has been strongly supported by crime victims, including the Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ), since 2018. Together with bill sponsor Chair Senator Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville), ASJ worked to incorporate the voices of crime survivors and address their needs in reforms that will expand access to critical services for victims. This victory builds on ASJ’s work with elected leaders to launch Trauma Recovery Centers, which provide comprehensive medical, mental, and legal assistance to victims to help them recover after a crime.
“Today, we reaffirm our commitment to helping the most vulnerable in our communities during their greatest time of need. SB 36 is a victory for all victims and those who want a safer Ohio. This would not have been possible without the countless survivors who made their voices heard and made it clear that true safety isn’t possible without addressing trauma in our communities. More work remains to ensure all victims receive the support they need to heal and that we effectively tackle the root causes of crime. I thank Governor DeWine, the Alliance for Safety and Justice, and my colleagues in the legislature for standing with victims,” said Senator Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville), bill sponsor for SB 36 and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“For far too long, not all crime victims have received the support needed to recover from a crime and get their lives back on track. SB 36 rights that wrong by expanding access to critical support that addresses physical and emotional trauma, while preventing future victimization,” said Shakyra Diaz, Chief of Staff for the Alliance for Safety and Justice. “Since 2016, we’ve worked with Ohio members of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice on reforms to ensure that communities can heal from violence and loss. Today’s bill signing was made possible because of them. We thank Senator Manning for sponsoring SB 36, as well as Attorney General Yost, Assistant Crime Victim Services Section Chief D. Michael Shelinefor, and Governor DeWine for supporting this effort. We also thank our members of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice who advocated for these reforms. SB 36 is proof that we can come together and improve safety for all communities.”
“What crime survivors like me want most is to make our communities safer and address trauma that has fed cycles of crime. Thanks to Governor DeWine, Senator Manning, and legislative leaders who supported SB 36, we have expanded access to critical help as victims and their families try to recover,” said India Brown, Ohio member of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. “With SB 36, crime victims’ voices have been heard and now we can work to strengthen communities, make Ohio safer, and promote healing among those who have been left behind. Ohioans deserve safer communities, and SB 36 brings us one step closer to that goal.”
ABOUT SB 36
SB 36 ensures that more crime victims receive the financial and emotional support needed to address trauma as a result of a crime, allowing for families and communities to heal and stop cycles of violence. These reforms will:
- Expand victim compensation coverage for immediate family members of certain crime victims, and remove restrictions based on an old felony conviction – from as far back as 10 years ago – unrelated to a person or their family member’s victimization.
- Eliminate barriers to victims based on a mere allegation that they may have committed a crime in the past – regardless of if they were ever convicted.
- Prohibit the denial of support for crime victims who tested positive for a controlled substance at the time of their victimization without consideration of their circumstances.
- Prevent the denial of support for family members of victims who are killed based on allegations regarding the victim’s actions. Family members who lose a loved one to a tragic act of violence are always victims themselves, and must be able to bury their loved ones with dignity and have the resources they need to heal.
The full text of the bill can be viewed here.
ABOUT THE ALLIANCE FOR SAFETY AND JUSTICE
The Alliance for Safety and Justice is a national organization that aims to win new safety priorities in states across the country. It partners with leaders to advance state reform through networking, coalition building, research, education, and advocacy. It also brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, as part of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice – its national network of over 42,000 crime survivors, with thousands of members in Ohio. For more information, visit https://allianceforsafetyandjustice.org.