CALCASA hosted a meeting Wednesday with representatives from several state agencies and statewide victim groups. Many of the groups, having collaborated before on a number of issues, agreed to participate in ongoing meetings over the course of the legislative session. Says Robert Coombs of CALCASA: “Victim services are often overlooked in the legislature, they aren’t as salient to politicians as ‘tough on crime’ bills. But if we have any vision of public safety, California has to acknowledge that a core responsibility is to the victims of crime. This is a particularly challenging year to highlight that, so we are pleased to be able to connect with our partners around the state to help bring the focus back around to victim services.”

Updates from the meeting ranged from leadership transitions to merging state agencies and the implications for those changes. Attendees included:

  • Susan Fisher–Governor’s Crime Victim Advocate
  • Ellie Jones–Office of Emergency Services
  • Kay Buck and Shannon Smith-Crowley–Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)
  • JoAnna Davis–California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV)
  • Rod Gillespie–Victim/Witness Assistance Center
  • Julie Nauman, Tom O’Conner, Joan Boodwin–Victims Compensation and Government Claims Board
  • Harriet Solarno and Dawn Sanders Koepke–Crime Victims United
  • Sandi Menefee–California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Deborah Bain and Renee Adame–Victim Services, Attorney General
  • Christine Ward–Crime Victims Action Alliance