5139.55 Office of victims' services.

(A)

(1) The office of victims' services is hereby created within the release authority of the department of youth services. The office of victims' services shall provide assistance to victims, victims' representatives, and members of a victim's family. The assistance shall include, but shall not be limited to, all of the following:

(a) If the court has provided the name and address of the victims of the child's acts to the department of youth services, notification that the child has been committed to the department, notification of the right of the victim or another authorized person to designate a person as a victim's representative under section 5139.56 of the Revised Code and of the actions that must be taken to make that designation, and notification of the right to be notified of release reviews, pending release hearings, revocation reviews, and discharge reviews related to that child and of the right to participate in release proceedings under that section and of the actions that must be taken to exercise those rights;

(b) The provision of information about the policies and procedures of the department of youth services and the status of children in the legal custody of the department.

(2) The office shall make available information to assist victims of delinquent children on supervised release or in a secure facility.

(B) The office of victims' services shall employ a victims administrator who shall administer the duties of the office. The victims administrator shall be in the unclassified civil service and a managing officer of the department. The office shall employ other staff members to assist the members of the release authority and hearing representatives in identifying victims' issues, ensure that the release authority upholds the provisions of section 5139.56 of the Revised Code, and make recommendations to the release authority in accordance with policies adopted by the department.

(C) The office of victims' services shall coordinate its activities with the chairperson of the release authority. The victims administrator and other employees of the office shall have full access to the records of children in the legal custody of the department in accordance with division (D) of section 5139.05 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 01-01-2002