During the week of April 21-27, 2002, victims of crime, victim advocates, criminal and juvenile justice officials, allied professionals, and community volunteers across the United States will observe the 22nd annual National Crime Victims Rights Week. The Department of Justice is holding a commemoration ceremony at noon on Monday, April 22, 2002 at the Oregon State Capitol. Community members, victims, and victim service providers are encouraged to attend. The Attorney General will present 18 Star Advocate Commendations to victim services providers and volunteers throughout the state for "Bringing Honor to Victims". Artwork by 25 children from Jasper Mountain in Lane County will be showcased.
In the aftermath of September 11, this year's theme, "Bringing Honor to Victims," reflects the country's heightened awareness of the harsh and tragic impact of crime on its victims, while underscoring the critical importance of helping all victims of crime rebuild their lives.
For nearly three decades, the victims' rights community has successfully brought crime victims' concerns and issues to the forefront of America's public policy agenda. Today, every state and federal government provides for the participation of victims in the criminal justice system, helping to make individuals and communities safer and making our justice system more effective.
In 1987, the State of Oregon passed Measure 10, which established a "Victims Bill of Rights." These rights include the right to be notified throughout the criminal justice process, the right to have input at sentencing and restitution hearings, the right to be present at court proceedings, and the right to keep your contact information from the offender.
More recently, Oregon has joined other states in offering an automated victim notification system (VINE). This system enables victims, law enforcement and concerned community members to register electronically via telephone for information concerning a specific offender. Victims who register are notified by an automated telephone system anytime the status of the offender changes (e.g., released, escaped, or moved to a different facility). Victims and individuals that have an interest in confirming the whereabouts of a particular offender may call the VINE toll free number (1-877-OR4-VINE) to access offender information as needed.
National Crime Victims' Rights Week gives our community and state the opportunity to support crime victims and commend those who serve them. Throughout the country, communities are observing National Crime Victims' Rights Week by holding ceremonies, marches, vigils and much more.
For additional information on National Crime Victims' Rights Week go to www.ncvc.org and www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc. For additional information on the Crime Victims' Assistance Section of the Department of Justice go to www.doj.state.or/CRIMEV/.
Heather Fowler, (503) 378-5348