Victims Rights Week going onPublished 8:14pm Tuesday, April 24, 2012
CASSOPOLIS — Cass County’s annual Flagpole Ceremony will be at noon Thursday in front of the Law and Courts Building. This is a time for family members and the community to remember loved ones violently lost to crime.
The public is encouraged to attend these events.
Cass County Prosecutor Victor A. Fitz announced the start of this year’s Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which began Sunday.
This year’s theme – Extending the Vision: Reaching Every Victim – celebrates the vision behind that progress and the ideal of serving all victims of crime.
The vision that launched the victims’ rights movement emerged more than 30 years ago.
Then – as now – crime victims endured physical and emotional wounds, costly financial burdens, an often-hostile criminal justice system and an alarming public tendency to be blamed for the crimes against them.
Victims were often excluded from courtrooms, disrespected by officials and afforded few rights. They began organizing to confront these challenges and to promote fair, compassionate and respectful responses to victims of crime.
Since the 1980s, the nation has made dramatic progress in securing the rights, protections and services for victims of crime.
Every state has enacted victims’ rights laws; 32 states have constitutional victims’ rights amendments. All states have victim compensation funds and more than 10,000 victim service agencies have been established throughout the country.
Community members are encouraged to join in the week’s activities and get involved in helping crime victims.
This year also marks the fifth annual Book Cover Contest among area elementary schools.
Students compete to have their artistic portrayal of “Going to Court” included in the child-friendly booklet created by the Cass County Victim Unit. This booklet helps child witnesses and victims as they prepare for their court proceedings.
Winners and finalists will be announced during the Cass County Board of Commissioners meeting at 7 p.m. May 3 at the 1899 courthouse.