Where we stand

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Sheriff Robbie Goins

 National crime victims’ rights week is this week. There are many layers involved once a crime occurs.

If you or someone you know is a victim or survivor of a crime, you have the right to information about your offender and the status of your case. Victim Information and Notification Everyday, or VINE, provides free, confidential access to offender custody information by phone and online. Registered users can be notified by phone and email when an offender is released from jail or prison. April 10 through 16 is a National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, a time to honor victims and help them restore their lives. Throughout the year, we help crime victims by keeping them informed about their cases. Contact VINE at 562-7446 or go to vinelink.com for information. Because information and notification are essential to helping crime victims rebuild their lives.

Victims have their basic human rights of fairness, dignity, and respect stripped away during a crime and for many of them, the judicial process further strips away those rights. VINE helps to restore those rights by keeping victims informed and involved in their cases.”

Reshaping the future continues; currently, every state has a victims’ bill of rights and a victim compensation program, 32 states have victims rights constitutional amendments, and more than 10,000 victim assistance programs operate in communities across the nation.

There is still a great deal of work ahead to reshape the future as we honor the past.  Some victims are never notified when an offender goes to trial or files an appeal. Some courts deny victims their right to be heard during court proceedings, fail to order restitution or compensation, and deny protective orders to keep victims safe. We, as advocates, must continue to fight for these core victims’ right at every turn.