Honoring victims, survivors and those who protect their rights and serve their needs
SACRAMENTO – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) kicked off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with a Moment of Silence, led by CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard to remember those who have been harmed by crime.
The theme of this year’s ceremony was, “Engaging Communities-Empowering Victims.”
“I affirm our dedication to respecting and enforcing victims’ rights and addressing needs during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and throughout the year,” Beard said during the ceremony at CDCR headquarters. “I would like to express my appreciation for victims and crime survivors who have turned personal tragedy into a motivating force to improve our response to victims of crime.”
Beard shared the podium with guest speaker Mindi Russell Senior Chaplain and Executive Director of the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy of Sacramento. Also addressing the audience was Cynthia Florez-DeLyon, Chief of CDCR’s Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS).
“Crime victims must know they have a voice,” Florez-DeLyon said. “We’re addressing every victim who asks for our help, for our services. We are part of the process, from the arrest to working with probation to working with the district attorney’s. Victims are advised that we are there for them, and we let them know what they can expect. That’s important.”
CDCR’s OVSRS provides comprehensive services to crime victims such as counseling, collecting restitution and transportation to parole hearings. In California, victims of crime have the right to be notified of the offender’s status, the right to participate in the juvenile and criminal justice process and the right to be reimbursed by the offender for costs related to the criminal act.
In 2014, a total of $17,546,676 was collected in victim restitution and fines from adult and juvenile offenders.
Also last year, OVSRS staff assisted 1,830 victims in offenders parole hearing processes, helped them attend the hearings in prison or by audio or video conference and made sure that more than $66,000 was provided to help more than 370 victims and/or their families to attend suitability hearings.
OVSRS also located 2,400 victims whose whereabouts were previously unknown and distributed to them more than $2.4 million of restitution collected from inmates.
Victim Service agencies in attendance included; California Crime Victims Coalition, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Victim Assistance, My Sister’s House, Parents of Murdered Children, Citizens Against Homicide and Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 17, 2015
CONTACT: JOE ORLANDO