2017 marks the 35th year since the inception of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW). This year, National Crime Victims’ Week will be celebrated April 2nd-8th with the theme of Strength, Resilience and Justice. Each year, more than 20 million people are the victim of a crime, affecting not only individuals, but families and communities as well. DPS encourages everyone to watch this video and learn more about, “how communities can promote resilience and justice by working together to strengthen all victims of crime.” Video: Strength, Resilience, Justice
President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first national “Crime Victims Week” in April of 1981. The following year, President Reagan appointed members to the Task Force on Victims of Crime in a ceremony at the Rose Garden. Once established, this task force got to work and offered 68 recommendations that became the framework for the advancement of new programs and policies. Its final recommendation led to the Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982 that brings “fair treatment standards” to victims and witnesses in the federal criminal justice system. In 1984 Congress passed the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) which secured legal rights, protections, and services for victims of crime.
Link: 1980's Crime Victims' Landmarks
In 1990, Arizona voters passed an initiative creating the Arizona Victims’ Bill of Rights. The following year legislation was implemented guaranteeing specific rights for crime victims including the right to be present at criminal proceedings, to be heard in court, and to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.
Since Arizona passed the Arizona Victims’ Bill of Rights, The Arizona Department of Public Safety has worked to ensure crime victims have a voice. AZDPS serves as the state administering agency for the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance fund and administers the state’s Victims’ Rights Enforcement fund, of which both funds are utilized to support victims’ rights activities. Troopers are also trained on this important topic during the basic police academy at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy (ALEA), again on field training, and in 2016 all troopers and detectives were again given training on the proper procedures and necessity for issuing victims’ rights.
In the last 12 months, Troopers provided victims’ rights information to over 2000 citizens. No matter how big or small the crime may seem, if you are a victim of any crime, you have a voice and it is our mission to make sure you know what that voice is and assist you in exercising your rights as a crime victim.
See the Arizona Victims’ Bill of Rights here: http://www.azleg.gov/const/2/2_1.htm
Learn More about Victim Services
The Arizona Department of Public safety will join with the Arizona Governor’s Office, Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Arizona Department of Corrections, and Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, to commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with a special event to be held on April 4th, 2017. This is a ceremony to honor and remember victims of crime and recognize those agencies and individuals who assist them in their journey. Governor Douglas A. Ducey, Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Maricopa County Attorney William G. Montgomery will be presenting awards to honorees who have made a difference in the community through their extraordinary service to crime victims.
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
– Benjamin Franklin