(Bel Air, MD) – – Harford County Government and the Office of the States Attorney for Harford County, are recognizing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 26 – May 2, 2009. This year’s theme is “25 Years of Rebuilding Lives: Celebrating the Victims of Crime Act”.
Since 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week has been a time of national remembrance – an opportunity for communities, victims, their loved ones and professionals serving victims to join together and reflect on the hard-won progress achieved in victims’ rights and services and the challenges that many crime victims still face.
Prior to 1984, victims of crime received little public support. The President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime, formed by President Ronald W. Reagan in 1982, found widespread neglect of victims by a criminal justice system indifferent to their needs. Although most states had some form of victim compensation, most programs were poorly funded. Despite the few victim assistance programs available in some states and the federal effort to fund victims/witness programs throughout the nations, most communities relied on a few grassroots organizations to help victims of crime.
In support of crime victims, the States Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Assistance Division will host an information booth at Harford Community College, in the student center on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The purpose of the informational booth is to help raise awareness of the important role victims of crime have in the criminal justice system. Personnel from the States Attorney’s Office will also provide information regarding the services and assistance available to victims of crime and their families.
“Victims of crime, no matter what the circumstances, deserve a criminal
justice system that cares about them and provides support for them during one of the most difficult times in their lives,” remarked County Executive David R. Craig. “For many years, the Harford County States Attorney’s Office, has provided invaluable assistance to those who fall prey to acts of violence and crime in our Harford County,” the county executive stated.
Commenting on the commemoration of Victims’ Rights Week, States
Attorney Joseph Cassilly stated, “Victims’ Rights Week is a time for the
community to acknowledge that long after the headlines have faded and the TV news crews have lost interest in the crimes that victims and their friends and families continue to struggle with the loss and trauma caused by criminals.”
For further information regarding assistance available to victims of crime in
Harford County, contact the Harford County States Attorney’s Office at 410-638-3500.