Since 1981, Crime Victims’ Rights Week has served as a reminder to renew our commitment to serving all victims of crime, to acknowledge the achievements in victim services and allied professions, to honor those who have gone above and beyond in their service to others, and to remember crime victims and survivors.
This year’s theme – Support Victims, Build Trust, and Engage Communities – emphasizes the importance of leveraging community support to help victims of crime and their families. Our work hasn’t stopped, even during a pandemic.
CDCR is committed to giving crime victims and their families a voice by ensuring their rights and providing crucial support and resources. Our nationally-recognized Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services has done so for more than 30 years.
Real-time access to Victim Services Coordinators have made it easier than ever to obtain information on parole hearings or receive an update on the status of a restitution payment.
Building trust is an important part of the healing process for many crime victims. Through the use of restorative justice services like the Victim Offender Dialogue program, certain victims and survivors of severe violence and violation can begin to receive a sense of healing and justice.
We engage our communities by providing victims of crime access to virtual parole hearings. Victims can now feel safe and empowered from their homes as they virtually participate in the parole suitability process.
All of these services and more, including information on how to contact the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services, are available on the CDCR website.
Each year during Crime Victims’ Rights Week, hardworking staff, volunteers, partnering agencies, and incarcerated people recognize the victims and survivors of crime through a series of victim-impact events. While this year’s in-person events will be limited, as we follow necessary public health guidelines, this does not mean we will not recognize those impacted by crime.
This year, we are asking those who live and work inside CDCR facilities, those working in our headquarters, regional offices, or teleworking, and the general public to join us in recognizing the victim and survivor community with a moment of silence at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 21.
In closing, we would like to extend our gratitude to victims and survivors of crime and their families everywhere for their strength and bravery. Regardless of COVID-19, we have not and will not forget about victims and survivors of crime, and we acknowledge them every day, especially during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
By Katie James, Chief, Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services.
Video by Clarissa Resultan, CDCR Television Specialist.