Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams was sworn in as a Governor-appointed member of the State Board of Victims Services on Thursday, August 6, 2015, as part of the Governor Larry Hogan’s investment in crime control and prevention.
“As a community, we must encourage and ensure that victims are willing to come forward and stand up for their rights,” said Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams. “I am thankful that Governor Hogan supports the rights of victims in our justice system, and for his appointment. I will make my service on the State Board of Victims Services committee a top priority.”
State’s Attorney Wes Adams has been a State-wide leader in the protection of victims for nearly 20 years. Mr. Adams won the Virginia Mahoney Award in May of this year, and was awarded a Governor’s Citation in April of 2011 for furthering the rights of crime victims. In 2005, Mr. Adams helped to draft witness intimidation legislation which created a hearsay exception to admit testimony of intimidated witnesses absent of cross examination. Adams was one of the first Maryland prosecutors to secure a conviction using this law, creating the case law for Maryland.
Since 1996, the State Board of Victims Services membership has included 22 members representing a broad number of interested groups including crime victims, service providers, and representatives from various criminal justice related agencies. Fourteen board positions are determined by the legislature and eight are appointed by the Governor. Board members serve 5-year terms.
According to the State Board of Victims Services website, other board members include: Anne Bean, Barbara Bond, Jessica Dickerson, Linda Fleischer, Rea Goldfinger, Dave Wolinski for Rhea Harris, Chief Scott Keller, Molly Knipe, Patricia Marshall, Margery Patten, Scott Beard for Cindy Pease, Laurie Rajala for Chris Shank, Debra Tall, Deborah Unitus and Virginia Wolf.
The Board’s purpose is to ensure that all crime victims in Maryland are treated with dignity, respect and compassion during all phases of the criminal justice process. In 2008, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, working in conjunction with the Board, applied for and was awarded Federal funds to expand the Victim Information Notification Everyday (VINE) program to include offenders who are on parole or probation and under the supervision of the Division of Parole and Probation. Victims are now able to access information and register for notification of status changes for parolees or probationers.