MADISON – Today, Rep. Tip McGuire introduced Victim Support legislation, which provides grants to law enforcement to improve victim services and victim / witness safety. The bill, LRB-5855/1, was unveiled today as part of the Smart Criminal Justice Legislation package introduced by Assembly Democrats.
“This bill is intended to provide support to local law enforcement across the state to ensure that victims get the services they need and deserve.” said Rep. McGuire.
LRB-5855/1 provides the following support to victims and witnesses in Wisconsin:
1) Grants to law enforcement agencies to support a position of a Victim and Witness service coordinator, to oversee services provided to Victims and Witnesses throughout the court process.
2) $5,000,000 in grants to law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies to provide protection series to victims and witness of crime, like temporary housing.
3) Increases the reimbursement rate to counties for victim and witness services by $3,2500,000 each fiscal year
4) Provides an additional $10,000,000 for victim services provided by the Department of Justice across the state.
“In recent years, the DOJ reimbursement percentage to victim witness programs has gone down substantially,” said Heather Beasy, Victim Witness Coordinator in the Kenosha County District’s Attorney’s Office, “An increase in funding for crime victim services would benefit those across the state to be able to continue providing services to crime victims.”