Tuesday, April 17, 2012

National Crime Victims Rights Week

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will be observed April 22-28, 2012. This year’s theme is Extending the Vision/Reaching Every Victim.  Since 1965 when the first Crime Victim Compensation program was established in California and throughout the following decades, victim advocates have worked tirelessly for recognition of Victims’ Rights and for funding for Victim Assistance programs. 

Victims’ Rights are on the national landscape this month with the introduction of H.J. Res. 106: Federal Victims’ Rights Amendment.  This historic amendment was introduced jointly by Representative Trent Franks [R-AZ] and Representative Jim Costa        [D-CA]. Passage of this amendment will begin to bring balance to the criminal justice system that was found by the President’s Task Force to have “lost essential balance….The victims of crime have been transformed into a group oppressively burdened by a system designed to protect them.” Only inclusion in the U.S. Constitution will ensure full, meaningful and consistent rights for all citizens throughout the nation and will ensure that all victims of crime will be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.
Crime victims in Arizona do have their rights guaranteed as part of the Arizona Constitution.  As with any right, awareness and advocacy are necessary to insure that the rights are respected. Information about Arizona’s Crime Victims’ Rights can be found at: http://www.azag.gov/victims_rights/CrimeVictimsRightsLaws.pdf

Please help in our effort to inform the public about their victims’ rights during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week!