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Database of Federal, State, and Tribal Victims' Rights Laws

Before victims' rights can be fully enforced, victims, victim advocates, victim lawyers, criminal justice practitioners, and allied professionals must understand the relevant statutes and case law. In Fiscal Year 2003, OVC provided funds for the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) to create a comprehensive online database of federal, state, and tribal victims' rights laws. In April 2007, NCVC launched the database, VictimLaw, a unique and groundbreaking resource that offers user-friendly access to more than 15,000 victims' rights statutes (state and federal), tribal laws, constitutional amendments, court rules, and administrative code provisions. Future additions to the database will include state attorney general opinions and summaries of court decisions related to victims' rights. VictimLaw will be updated regularly and is available free of charge.

VictimLaw provides instant access to a wide range of previously hard-to-find legal information. Although all states have extensive bodies of legal rights for victims of crime (and nearly two-thirds of the states have adopted constitutional amendments guaranteeing rights to victims), locating this information is often arduous and time-consuming. Users can search under each of the following rights: the right to attend, to compensation, to enforcement, to be heard, to be informed, to protection, to restitution, and to the return of property. The database offers four ways to search: by topic, legal term, jurisdiction, and citation.

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