FAILURE TO PROTECT

Provo lawmaker sponsoring bill aimed at improving Utah’s justice system for crime victims

Jan 5, 2024, 7:18 PM | Updated: 7:26 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah lawmaker is sponsoring legislation aimed at improving Utah’s justice system for victims of crime.

Republican Rep. Tyler Clancy presented a draft of the bill titled “crime victims and witnesses amendments” to Utah’s Council on Victims of Crime Friday.

“We’re trying to create a better system for victims,” said Clancy, of Provo.

The bill aims to do a lot, including Clancy’s biggest goal: clearly outline, in one place, the legal rights for victims of crime in Utah.

“It was actually separated within three different sections of code, so we’re taking all that into one,” he explained. “So, if you are a victim, if a loved one is a victim, you can easily look at the rights that are afforded to you as a victim of crime and make sure those are being respected.” He said the bill also attempts to clarify the process of filing a complaint when a crime victim believes their rights have been violated, and the role of the council and those tasked with responding to complaints.

The KSL Investigators previously reported on concerns raised by survivors of sex crimes that the complaint process was confusing and did not lead to a resolution.

“We really believe that clarity can be trauma-informed,” he said Clancy. “If we can’t build trust in those systems that exist, then either people won’t engage, they won’t report, or they’ll look elsewhere.”

‘This process is not working’: Utahns frustrated with state review of crime victim complaints

Clancy, a Provo police officer, is drawing on his own background in law enforcement and input from survivors who’ve experienced Utah’s justice system for themselves. He said the KSL Investigators Failure to Protect series, examining gaps at every level of Utah’s justice system for more than a year, also informed his work on the bill.

“One of the things that I really appreciated about your reporting is that you spoke to the victim, you spoke to the person who was in the process,” he said. “It’s hard to sit with someone who has experienced those traumatic events. However, as you’ve shown, it is super important. And that’s been motivating to myself and other lawmakers as we’ve joined in this effort together.”

The draft also calls for victims of crime to be notified of parole hearings, something Utah Board of Pardons and Parole administrative director Jennifer Yim told the KSL Investigators in September is a top priority.

Utahn says she wasn’t told her perpetrator was up for release, Utah parole board promises to do better

Yim said Friday the board had not yet weighed in on Clancy’s bill, but that she is confident the legislation will end up with language the board will support.

“The Board is working on creating a victim-centered notification platform to improve our processes,” Yim wrote in an email. “Since we last spoke, we have made significant progress, including securing a federal grant to help fund it.”

During Friday’s meeting, Clancy said he recognizes the bill is an ambitious one with many components, and he will consider scaling back if necessary to ensure the key changes laid out in the bill can move forward. He also told the KSL Investigators he believes the proposal will gain support from his colleagues on Utah’s Capitol Hill.

“Building trust in the system isn’t a partisan idea,” he said.


Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

Failure to Protect

Prosecutors filed felony charges in a Salt Lake City rape case from 2019, but later reduced them to...

Daniella Rivera

Could making this change help Utah improve sexual assault prosecutions?

Only a fraction of sexual assaults reported to police in Utah result in criminal charges for the perpetrator, but a legislative proposal could potentially change that.

2 months ago

a poster celebrating sexual assault awareness...

Daniella Rivera

‘Please report’: Salt Lake County leaders urge survivors of sexual assault to come forward

To kick off sexual assault awareness month, advocates and law enforcers are drawing attention to Utah’s low sexual assault reporting rate.

3 months ago

Joshua Homer appears in court in Weber County on Oct. 18, 2022....

Daniella Rivera and Keira Fairmont, KSL-TV

Rapist at the center of KSL Investigation ‘Failure to Protect’ pleads guilty

Guilty: An accused serial predator in Utah, who’s had more than a decade of allegations against him is now a convicted rapist following a KSL Investigation.

3 months ago

More than two dozen people packed a parole board hearing room on March 5, 2024, to support survivor...

Daniella Rivera, KSL-TV

Utah parole board reconsidering sex offender’s release after hearing from victims

In a packed parole hearing Monday, survivors urged Utah’s Board of Pardons and Parole to keep a repeat sexual offender behind bars. The hearing followed reporting by the KSL Investigators about failures to notify victims that their perpetrators are up for parole and ongoing efforts to improve the system.

4 months ago

Leah Moses...

Annie Knox

Utah lawmakers pass ‘Om’s Law,’ focused on child safety in custody decisions

Utah lawmakers gave final passage to bill requiring judges to consider evidence of domestic violence raised in child custody cases.

4 months ago

Proposed legislation aimed at boosting Utah's low sexual assault prosecution rate appears to be sta...

Daniella Rivera

Will lawmakers consider bill to boost Utah’s low rate of sex assault prosecutions?

Imagine being sexually assaulted, reporting to police, getting a forensic exam at the hospital and still being told your perpetrator can't be prosecuted under Utah's current rape law. That happens more than you might think, but Utah lawmakers have been reluctant to adopt what experts say is a sound solution.

5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Provo lawmaker sponsoring bill aimed at improving Utah’s justice system for crime victims