CSG Midwest

Ohio has become the latest Midwestern state to adopt a “Safe at Home” law, which allows the survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and other violent crimes to shield their home addresses from public records. Under HB 359, which took effect in September, these crime victims can get a P.O. Box assigned to them by the secretary of state.

Michigan enacted domestic violence legislation May 3 that adds companion animals to personal protection orders, making it the latest state to acknowledge the role pets play in domestic violence situations. Currently, 29 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have laws with provisions that allow pets to be included in personal protection orders.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Council of State Governments will work with States and with their federal counterparts—at the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of State—to combat human trafficking; and

The Act establishes crime victim address protection program for victims of domestic violence and abuse, stalking, and felony sexual offenses. It allows crime victims to use an address provided by the Secretary of State in lieu of the person's actual physical address and allows program participants to vote by mail-in absentee ballot.

The Act allows non-violent crimes committed by victims of human trafficking to be expunged. Victims charged with non-violent offenses may make a motion in the court to expunge the offense after 60 days of being charged. If the court finds that the offense occurred because the individual was a victim of human trafficking the charges may be dismissed with prejudice.

This week I was privileged to join with 40 experts in the field of elder justice gathered in Washington, D.C. to put the finishing touches on a national road map to guide programs and services to address elder justice issues – preventing elder abuse, providing services for victims of elder abuse in all its forms, and building systems for prosecution of abuse, sexual assault and financial exploitation.  CSG was invited to the meeting to bring the perspective of state level policy makers to the...

Yesterday the Office of National Drug Control Policy urged that first responders be equipped with naloxone, a medication used to counteract opiate overdoses. Some states already have laws on the books to do just that.

In a CSG research brief...

Human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery whereby children and adults are exploited through force or coercion for sex acts or manual labor, is purported to be a multi-billion-dollar worldwide industry and one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises. The U.S. Department of State estimates that there are approximately 40,000 men, women and children who become victims of human trafficking in the United States every year. States have taken action, setting up task forces to assess the extent of this insidious practice and experimenting with policies to encourage reporting, train law enforcement personnel and increase the criminal penalties for perpetrators. 

Stateline Midwest ~ April 2012

Iowa Rep. Lisa Heddens was recently working with a law firm specializing in elder law, and was shocked to hear the number of cases that involved the financial exploitation of senior citizens.

This Act establishes a process to enable crime victims or their advocates to recover property held by law enforcement agencies. 

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