Governor Bill Richardson established the Victim Rights Alliance (hereinafter “Alliance”) in 2005 through Executive Order 2005-020. Through Executive Order 2007-002, the Governor charged the Alliance with the task of investigating and reporting on the status of crime victims’ rights in New Mexico by July 31, 2007. It is with great pleasure that the members of the Alliance and their partners present the findings and recommendations based on six months of collaborative inquiry into the implementation and enforcement of victims’ rights and the quality of services offered to crime victims in New Mexico.
Throughout this investigative process, the Alliance sought to gather information about the experiences of crime victims throughout New Mexico. However, as it is always challenging to represent the interests of all groups, the members of the Alliance do not feel it is accurate to suggest that this Report reflects the opinions and experiences of all crime victims in New Mexico. Rather, the Alliance has gathered information from professionals who serve diverse groups of victims. The Alliance also collected survey data from selected victims to identify statewide trends and themes related to rights enforcement and the quality of services they received. In order to gather more population or geographic region-specific data, the Alliance believes a statewide, in-depth needs assessment would be necessary as reflected in Recommendation Three of this Report.
The members of the Alliance also recognize that many of the recommendations included in this Report will require funding and the commitment of state agencies, communities, and tribal entities in order to be implemented. It is not the intention of the Alliance to suggest that the Governor’s Office should be responsible for the execution of each of these recommendations. Instead, the Alliance seeks support and guidance from the Governor’s Office in selecting appropriate partners and strategies for the improvement of victims’ rights enforcement and services through the implementation of the recommendations included in this Report. It is the belief of the Alliance that by improving rights enforcement and services in the ways suggested in this Report, crime victims will receive the services they need to heal and will be afforded the rights they are guaranteed under the New Mexico Constitution and state statutes.