Justice 2017-10-30T08:17:47+00:00



Restorative Justice is a holistic and integrated theory of justice that focuses on repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. The concept is to “restore” the victim to her/his life before the crime. While the victim can never totally recover or be “restored.” The concept is to assist the victim in the healing process, to identify and involve stakeholders, hold the offender/perpetrator accountable for the crime, and bring the community together. 

Some of the outcomes identified by this process include family group conferencing, circle sentencing, victim assistance, ex-offender assistance, victim-offender mediation (VOM), restitution, and community involvement and service. This process creates opportunities for victims, offenders, and community members to meet to discuss the crime and the consequences of the crime. It also expects perpetrators to accept responsibility and take the necessary steps in this process to repair the harm they have caused; it seeks to restore victims, and perpetrators to whole, contributing members of society, if possible; and to provide opportunities for the stakeholders to participate in the resolution.

Conventional justice systems have been referred to as “retributive justice” focusing on the laws and punishing the offender. Restorative justice focuses on who has been harmed, including the victim, her/his family, the family of the offender, and the community at large; on how these harms can be addressed or repaired; who should address or repair the harms; and restoring those harmed to some semblance of peace and security. This process is a great responsibility for those participating, with risks of re-traumatizing the victim when the focus is redirected from justice for the victim, to healing for the offender. Each situation is unique and should be recognized as such. Trauma is the common denominator, with healing and restoration the common goals. When the process works there is an opportunity for healing and justice.

Parallel Justice “underscores the need to create a separate path to justice for victims—apart from the criminal justice system, but relating to it. Parallel Justice is distinctive in several ways. It can serve all victims of crime and it marshals a wider range of resources to address victims’ safety, and their immediate and long-term needs. In addition, beyond the restorative justice roles for offenders and communities, in a system of parallel justice, there is also a role for society at large, represented by the state, in repairing the harm. Along with families, neighbors, and offenders, society as a whole would be asked to play a role in acknowledging the harm and helping victims of crime rebuild their lives. Although restorative justice offers many benefits to victims, our society owes victims much more. Every crime has a victim and every victim needs our help.”

“Restorative Justice can serve only a small number of victims. Restorative Justice does not address many critical needs of victims. Restorative Justice provides no active role for the government in rebuilding victims’ lives. Parallel Justice envisions a very different response to crime. It addresses many of the limitations of our traditional criminal justice and restorative justice paradigms and draws upon the strengths of each. Parallel Justice provides two separate paths to justice—one for victims and one for offenders.” Susan Herman, Executive Director, National Center for Victims of Crime


Contact the Victim Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, Inc. at 315-331-1171 x300 for more information.


Thank you to the NYSOPDV

2016 New York State Domestic Violence and Related Laws


Judicial Hearing Officer/Referee Authority - A.9686 Bronson S.7351 Bonacic

Provides for another two-year extension of two provisions of the Judiciary Law. One provision grants Family Court referees the authority to issue ex parte orders of protection and orders issued on default at any time the court is in session. The second provision authorizes a Judicial Hearing Officer pilot program in Family Court and grants hearing officers the authority to issue ex parte orders of protection and orders where the respondent has defaulted. The pilot program covers the seventh and eighth judicial districts in western New York.
Signed: June 1, 2016 Chapter 48      Effective: June 1, 2016
Amends: unconsolidated law affecting Judiciary Law §212(2)(n) and (o)

Female Genital Mutilation - A.47-a Paulin/S.3484-A Lanza

Establishes the new crime of “facilitating female genital mutilation,” intentionally aiding in the commission or attempted commission of the crime of female genital mutilation of a minor under 18 years of age.
Signed: June 8, 2016   Chapter 49     Effective:  September 6, 2016
Amends: Penal Law creating a new §260.22

Enforcement of Child Support or Spousal Support Orders - A.7253 Weinstein/S.5189 Bonacic

Eliminates the requirement that other enforcement remedies must be exhausted before a person who fails to pay child support and/or spousal support can be held in contempt by the court in a matrimonial proceeding.
Signed: September 29, 2016   Chapter 365     Effective:  September 29, 2016
Amends:  Domestic Relations Law §245


2015 New York State Domestic Violence and Related Laws


The following bills have been signed into law by the Governor:


Temporary Orders of Protection – A.6262 Joyner/S.6 Young

Establishes a pilot program in several Family Courts to allow the electronic filing of petitions and issuing of temporary orders of protection by audio-visual means. This will provide emergency relief for victims who find traveling to, or appearing in, the courthouse, an undue hardship or a risk to their safety. Signed: October 21, 2015 Chapter 367 Effective: April 1, 2016 Amends: Family Court Act §153-c; Judiciary Law §212(2) new paragraph (t); Executive Law §648


Translation of DIR Statements and Victim Rights Notice – A.4347 Davila/S.4288 Hoylman

Requires police to have a victim’s statement on a domestic incident report translated when the statement is not in English. The victim rights notice, which must be given to all victims when a domestic incident report is completed, must be translated by the state and made available to law enforcement agencies. Victim statements and the notice must be translated into those languages most frequently spoken in New York State. Signed: November 20, 2015 Chapter 432 Effective: February 18, 2016 Amends: Executive Law §§214(b), 837(15), 840(3)(f); Criminal Procedure Law §140.10(5)


Campus Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence - A.8244 Glick/S.5965 Lavalle

Requires all colleges to adopt a set of comprehensive procedures and guidelines to combat sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking on college and university campuses statewide. In addition to required prevention and response policies and procedures, the “Enough is Enough” law includes a uniform definition of affirmative consent for sexual activity, a statewide reporting amnesty policy, confidentiality provisions and expanded access to law enforcement, to help ensure the safety of all students attending colleges in New York State. Signed: July 7, 2015 Chapter 76 Effective: October 5, 2015; provisions requiring campus climate assessments and annual reporting of aggregate data to the State Department of Education take effect on July 7, 2016 Amends: Education Law by creating a new Article 129-B (§§6439 – 6449); Civil Practice Laws & Rules R3016; Executive Law by adding a new §232


Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act– A.506 Paulin/S.7 Lanza

Improves the State's response to human trafficking. Increases the accountability of buyers and traffickers by adding new offenses to address patronizing a minor for prostitution and increasing penalties for sex trafficking. Eliminates the term “prostitute” in the Penal Law and replaces it with “patronizing a person for prostitution.” Requires the development of policies and materials for new and veteran police officers to use in assisting trafficking victims. Signed: October 21, 2015 Chapter 368 Effective: January 19, 2016 Amends: multiple sections of Penal Law §§60.13, 70.02(1)(a) & (c), 70.80(1)(a), 135.35, add 135.37, 460.10(1)(a), 700.05(8)(b) & (h), add 230.01, 230.02(1), 230.03(2), 230.04 - 230.10, add 230.11 – 230.13, 230.15(1) & (2), 230.19(1), 230.25(1), 230.30. 230.32, 230.33, 230.35, 230.40, 240.37(2), 380.50(6), 440.10(1)(i), 483-bb add (c), Criminal Procedure Law §§380.50, 440.10, 700.05; Social Services Law §§483-bb & 483-cc; Civil PLR §212; Mental Hygiene Law §10.03; Correction Law §§168-a & 168-d; Vehicle & Traffic Law §509-cc, add §510-d; Public Health Law §2324-a; Real Property Actions & Proceedings Law §715; Real Property Law §231; Executive Law §840, add §214-d; §14 of Chapter 74 of 2007


Housing Discrimination - A.6354-B Peoples-Stokes/S.5 Robach

Prohibits discrimination in housing based on domestic violence status. Includes renting, terms or conditions of rental and eviction. Establishes a task force to study the impact of source of income and gender on access to housing. The task force will also review the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Plan, including voucher portability and its impact on domestic violence victims, and make recommendations for improvement. Signed: October 21, 2015 Chapter 366 Effective: January 9, 2016 Amends: Real Property Law to add §227-d and Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law to add §744


Orders of Protection in Sexual Assault/Probation Sentences- A.1797-A Paulin/ S.4340-B Serino Establishes the maximum length of an order of protection in sexual assault cases where the sentence is, or includes, probation. The maximum length of an order issued in criminal felony sexual assault convictions, including cases where the defendant and victim are family/household members, is fixed at ten years. In misdemeanor sexual assault convictions the maximum length of an order of protection will be fixed at six years. This corrects an inconsistency created when the law was changed in 2006 to extend the permissible duration of orders of protection in all crimes. Prior to 2006, the law already required longer probation sentences for sexual assault convictions. Without the correction, orders of protection could have expired before a defendant had completed a probation sentence. Signed: September 22, 2015 Chapter 240 Effective: October 22, 2015 Amends: Criminal Procedure Law §§530.12(5); 530.13(4)


Legal Name Change Protection - A.2242 Bronson/S.5240 Savino

Provides greater protection for domestic violence victims seeking a legal name change. Previously, the law allowed a waiver of the requirement to publish a name change in a designated newspaper, if the court found that publishing would jeopardize the person’s safety. This law expands the protection to clarify that the totality of the person’s circumstances must be taken into consideration when determining the threat to safety and that specific instances or a history of threats to personal safety are not required. Signed: September 22, 2015 Chapter 241 Effective: September 22, 2015 Amends: Civil Rights Law §64-a


Crime Victim Awards/Financial Difficulty Requirement – A.6943 Peoples-Stokes/S.4913 Gallivan Eliminates the requirement to prove financial difficulty in order to receive crime victim compensation, unless the award is for $10,000 or more. The requirement had been in effect for awards of $5,000 or more. Signed: September 25, 2015 Chapter 263 Effective: September 25, 2015 Amends: Executive Law §631(6)(a)


Crime Victim Awards/Grandchildren – A.8235 Peoples-Stokes/S.5956 Gallivan

Adds grandchildren to the list of relatives of a homicide victim who are eligible for crime victim compensation for counseling services. Signed: August 13, 2015 Chapter 104 Effective: August 13, 2015 Amends: Executive Law §624(1)(b)


Resources for Victims of Sexual Assault and Child Pornography - A.86 Paulin/S.3486 Lanza

Allows the Department of Health to promote the availability of no-cost counseling programs, education programs and advocacy services for victims of sexual offenses and child pornography promotion/possession, provided at government and not-for-profit programs. Signed: November 20, 2015 Chapter 363 Effective: January 19, 2016 Amends: Executive Law §292(5)


Defendant Name Change/Victim Request – A.5007-A Perry/S.1744-A Carlucci

Requires the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Office of Victim Services to develop and distribute a uniform form that prosecutors can give to crime victims who wish to be notified of any name change petition filed by the defendant in their case. Signed: October 26, 2015 Chapter 394 Effective: November 25, 2015 Amends: Executive Law §631(6)(a)


Workplace Sexual Harassment Protections - A.5360 Galef/S.2 Valesky

Expands protections against sexual harassment by an employer to include all employers in New York State. Previously, the law covered employers with four or more employees. Signed: October 21, 2015 Chapter 418 Effective: November 20, 2015 Amends: Public Health Law §207(1) new paragraph


Fee Waivers for Certain Crimes – A.2469-A.Paulin/S.4394-A Lanza

Waives the DNA databank fee, the mandatory surcharge and the crime victim assistance fee for convictions, where the arresting charge is prostitution or loitering for prostitution, or when the court finds the defendant is a victim of sex trafficking. Signed: November 20, 2015 Chapter 246 Effective: November 20, 2015 Amends: Criminal Procedure Law §420.35(2)


Maintenance and Spousal Support - A.7645 Weinstein/S.5678 Bonacic

Establishes new formulas for the court to use to calculate the duration and amount of maintenance and spousal support. The law also establishes what factors can used to appropriately deviate from the formulas. Signed: September 25, 2015 Chapter 269 Effective: January 23, 2016 for all matrimonial actions and Family Court actions for spousal support commenced on or after this date; October 25, 2015 for temporary maintenance awards in matrimonial actions commenced on or after this date Amends: Domestic Relations Law §§236 & 248; Family Court Act §412


Mandatory Arrest Extension

Extends the mandatory arrest provision for family offenses for two more years, until September 1, 2017. Signed: Chapter 55 – Budget Bill: §17 of Part B Effective: April 13, 2015 Amends: Criminal Procedure Law §140.10(4)


Increased Maximum Length of Criminal Orders of Protection

Extension Extends for two more years, until September 1, 2017, the increased maximum length of criminal court orders of protection. Maximum lengths: eight years for a felony conviction, five years for a misdemeanor conviction and two years for all other offenses/violations. Signed: 2015 Chapter 55 – Budget Bill: §19 of Part B Effective: April 13, 2015 Amends: Criminal Procedure Law §§530.12(5); 530.13(4)

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