Justice Department Observes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week With Events Throughout The Country
DETROIT, MI (STL.News) In observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 24-30, 2022, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, along with the Detroit Crime Victims’ Action Team, will be recognizing crime victims and those who have dedicated their lives to serve and assist victims of crime.
Each year in April, the Department of Justice and United States Attorney’s Offices observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week nationwide by taking time to honor victims of crime and those who advocate on their behalf. In addition, the Justice Department and U.S. Attorneys Offices organize events to honor the victims and advocates, as well as bring awareness to services available to victims of crime.
This year’s observance takes place April 24-30, with the theme: Rights, access, equity, for all victims. This theme underscores the importance of helping crime survivors find their justice by enforcing victims’ rights, expanding access to services, and ensuring equity and inclusion for all.
This year’s honoree is Open Arms, part of Ascension Southeast Michigan Community Health. Open Arms is a crime victim service program that provides individual and family counseling, crime victim court advocacy, peer support groups, and legal support for victims of crime and domestic violence. Open Arms will be recognized for their tireless work to ensure that the needs of victims are met.
This year’s Crime Victims’ Rights Week event will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, 1:00 p.m. at Lafayette Greens. This location is located on the corner of Shelby and W. Lafayette. Lillian Reyes, Drop-In Youth Director with the Ruth Ellis Center, will be the guest speaker and share her emotional story. All are welcome to attend this event.
United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel are both scheduled to speak at the event and will be joined by local and federal law enforcement leaders. Bishop James Williams, Crime Stoppers of Michigan will moderate Tuesday’s event.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan is committed to assisting victims of crimes and protecting them from further harm,” stated U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison. “Our staff of professionals are dedicated to ensuring that victims’ rights are protected and that they have access to services in their time of need.”
The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, within the Office of Justice Programs, leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week each year. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in 1981 to bring greater sensitivity to the needs and rights of victims of crime.
The Eastern District of Michigan, like other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, has a dedicated Victim Witness Unit that serves federal crime victims across the District’s many counties. Our staff notify victims of significant case events through the Department of Justice’s Victim (DOJ) Notification System (VNS). Such notice enables victims to participate in court proceedings and make their voices heard.
In calendar year 2021, our staff made more than 68,000 notices to victims. In addition to notification, the Eastern District of Michigan’s Victim Witness Unit provides essential services to victims, such as making referrals for counseling, securing temporary housing, assisting with access to victim compensation funds, and accompanying victims to court to provide support and guidance during the proceedings. These services provide tools victims need to reshape their futures.
The Office of Justice Programs provides innovative leadership to federal, state, local, and tribal justice systems, by disseminating state-of-the art knowledge and practices across America and providing grants for the implementation of these crime-fighting strategies.
Because most of the responsibility for crime control and prevention falls to law enforcement officers in states, cities, and neighborhoods, the federal government can be effective in these areas only to the extent that it can enter partnerships with these officers.