(February 16, 2022) - Colorado’s Constitution and statutes clearly define certain rights for victims of crimes. The Victim Rights Act (VRA), in particular, ensures that crime victims are treated with fairness, respect, dignity and that they are free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse. The VRA also helps to ensure that victims are informed of critical stages of the criminal justice process and that they may be present for, and heard, at certain stages as well.
The Crime Victim Services Advisory Board’s Victim Rights Act subcommittee works to ensure that crime victims are afforded their rights. The subcommittee carefully reviews complaints of violations of the Victim Rights Act and works with agencies to help them address concerns so that they can comply with the law. The subcommittee may refer complaints and findings of non-compliance to the Board. As required by law, when the Board determines that the report of noncompliance has a basis in fact and cannot be resolved, the Board must refer the report of noncompliance to the Governor who shall request that the Colorado Attorney General file suit to enforce compliance with the VRA.
On Feb. 14, 2022, the Board referred complaints against the District Attorney’s Office of the 12th Judicial District to the Governor in order to request that the Attorney General file suit to enforce compliance with the VRA as mandated in C.R.S. 24-4.1-303(17). This is the first time in the 30-year history of the Victim Rights Act that the board has made such a referral, and that reflects the seriousness of this matter.
We commend the caring, careful and methodical work of the VRA subcommittee and the CVSAB in their dedication to protecting the rights of victims, and we are grateful for the commitment of the Attorney General’s office to achieve a solution that will honor the rights of victims.