September 08, 2017

September Meeting Minutes

• Introductions
• Updates/events
• Speaker: Dennis Mitchell from NYS Crime Victims Board, Matt Urban Center
   o The NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS) funds their program. No taxpayer dollars
   o Eligibility criteria
      18 years old and under or 60 years old and over
       • If victim is between those guidelines, they must be injured or have a disability to qualify for their services
       • Parents can fill out a claim form for their children but the children have to be listed on the police report in order to qualify for OVS
      Police report must be completed
      Innocent victim of a crime
       • OVS reaches out to the police detective to determine innocence
   o The Matt Urban Center’s program serves victims of crime in zip codes 14212, 14211, 14215, and 14206
      Matt Urban Center’s program reviews the reports in C District and sends information about their program to the victims of crime
      The Buffalo Northwest Community Center serves North and West Communities and the Erie County District Attorney’s Office serves all inner city and suburbs
      Each program is assigned to zip codes to avoid duplication of services
   o They have 4 full time advocates and 1 part time advocate
   o Assistance provided by the Matt Urban Center’s program
      Assistance with local police
      Assistance will filling out a claim form for OVS either online or on paper
       • Advocates can make home and hospital visits
      Assistance and escort to criminal court proceedings
      Assistance with drafting a victim impact statement
      Supportive counseling
      Follow-up
      Referrals to community programs and services
   o Compensation benefits if claim is approved by OVS
      Compensation for medical and counseling expenses
      Compensation for essential lost property (essential is very specifically defined)
      Lost wages or other support
      Burial and related expenses
      Occupational and vocational rehabilitation
   o A victim technically has 1 year to file a claim but can file after that time period if they can show good reason for being late. For example, they didn’t know about the service
   o Seeing a rise in contractor scams, phone scams, and romance scams targeting men

•Update on proposed legislation
   o Is there an interest to reinvigorate the legislation committee in the Council? Let Sarah Duval or Kathy Kanaley know if you are interested
   o There is currently no crime for “elder abuse” in NYS
• Next meeting is Tuesday October 3, 2017 at 9 am at 100 James E. Casey Drive