Pro Victim Advocates

Good morning. I am Patricia Wenskunas, Founder/CEO of Crime Survivors and Board member for Crime Victims United of California.

I am pleased to be with this esteemed group of pro-victim advocates, especially Assemblyman James Ramos who in his first year in the Legislature stood tall for crime victims in Sacramento.

Crime Victims United of California and other pro-victim organizations were pleased to support Assemblyman Ramos’ Assembly Bill 433 that seeks to provide victims and prosecutors notice prior to a hearing to terminate probation early.

Under current law, the court may terminate an offender’s probation, discharging an individual from probation early without providing notice to their victims.

While victims are required to be provided restitution to cover economic losses under the constitution, occasions arise where the victim’s losses may not be able to be determined at the time of sentencing when restitution is imposed.

Current law allows for restitution to be revisited, but that must occur prior to the end of probation when the court loses jurisdiction associated with the perpetrator.

The challenge is that victims do not have any way of knowing that a defendant may be poised to have their probation terminated early, cutting off any opportunity for revisiting restitution to the victim.

At a time when victims’ voices and rights are rarely heard, AB 433 would provide an additional opportunity for victims to be notified of the disposition of their offender’s probation status to better inform their next steps and restitution adequacy.