Robert “Bob” L. Rice, Nodaway County prosecutor, released the second edition of a booklet titled “Crime Victims’ Rights” to serve victims and the public as an informative guide about the criminal justice system in the State of Missouri due to the work of Nick Gotta, 24, San Diego, CA, a recent graduate from Northwest Missouri State University.
“Crime victims are guaranteed certain notification rights and participation in the Missouri criminal justice system,” Rice said. “I continue to fight as an advocate for crime victims. In Nodaway County, victims’ rights come first. I could not have released the second edition of the “Crime Victims’ Rights” booklet without Nick Gotta’s extraordinary work. He is a law clerk for my office this academic year. The amount of detail and work that Nick put into this project is rare and exemplary.”
Gotta plans to pursue law school following his time at Northwest Missouri State University.
“I have learned so much working with Bob,” Gotta said. “He put a lot on my plate and gave me the opportunity to gain real world experience as an attorney in the criminal justice system.”
Crime victims are guaranteed rights and participation in the criminal justice system under an amendment to the Missouri Constitution and law that took effect in 1993. The purpose of the “Crime Victims’ Rights” booklet was to help a victim better understand the court process during the difficult times of the criminal act and the prosecution for the criminal act. The reason the second edition was necessary is due to the complete criminal code revision that took effect January 1, 2017. The criminal code revision made significant changes to criminal charges, classification of crimes and ranges of punishment so a revised booklet was necessary.
The 25-page booklet contains concise and easy-to-read information such as:
• it explains the victims’ notification rights from law enforcement agencies, prosecutor’s office, custodial authorities, Board of Probation and Parole and the Missouri Attorney General.
• it details victims’ rights to participate in the criminal justice process.
• it gives contact information to local and state resources to assist a crime victim.
• it explains how a crime victim can apply for reimbursement for losses not recovered in restitution by the prosecutor from the Missouri State Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund.
• it explains how crime victims can keep their address concealed through a program offered by the Missouri Secretary of State’s office.
• it explains what a protection order is, how to apply for one and what happens when someone violates a protection order.
• it explains the criminal procedure of a case through the Missouri court system.
• it defines various court terms commonly used in the Missouri criminal justice system.
“My office will continue to prioritize crime victims. My commitment is to do everything possible to fight and help crime victims and their families through a very difficult time. What has happened to them is not their fault. This booklet empowers them with knowledge about their rights and what to expect in court,” Rice concluded.