Victims Must Be Told When Defendants Escape Under New Law

Apr 22, 2018

Maine crime victims must now receive notification of a defendant's escape from prison or jail under a new state law.

The law also applies in the case of individuals with mental illness who have escaped from an institution where they've been committed.

Victims must receive information about how the defendant escaped, from where the defendant escaped and when.

Currently, the Department of Corrections does notify victims of such escapes but no law requires such updates.

The bill became law April 15 without Republican Gov. Paul LePage's signature.

The law will become effective three months from the day lawmakers return to Augusta to consider LePage's vetoes.

Lawmakers have tabled a bill calling for a constitutional amendment creating a crime victim's bill of rights. Its fate is unclear.