Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office will celebrate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, an annual observance recognizing crime victims and those who serve them.
President Barack Obama has designated April 22 to April 28, 2012 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The theme for this year’s national commemoration is “Extending the Vision, Reaching Every Victim.”
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office will have activities during the week of April 22 to April 28. There will also be activities on May 3 and May 10.
“For those of us who work in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, nothing is more important than protecting the rights of victims and helping them get through the process,’’ said Acting Prosecutor Murray. “True justice means repairing the harm suffered by victims as well as holding those responsible for criminal activity accountable for their actions. Fair treatment of crime victims must be a priority.”
Pamela McCauley, Victim-Witness Coordinator for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, said, “The activities and events scheduled in conjunction with this national commemoration are designed to reinforce our resolve to reach each crime victim in need, one person at a time. The goal is to help victims heal the wounds caused by crime, keep them safe from further harm and empower them to re-engage fully in society.’’
An open house reception to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of Prosecutor’s Office of Victim–Witness Advocacy is scheduled for Monday, April 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event will be held on the 14th floor of the newly restored Leroy Smith, Jr., Public Safety Building located at 50 West Market Street in Newark.
Essex County government officials, law enforcement professionals and office staff will be on hand to meet those in attendance. Crime victims who have volunteered their time and energy to help others and local service agencies that have been exemplary in their support of Essex County crime victims will be publicly recognized at the event.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, through its Office of Victim–Witness Advocacy, is also planning a public seminar to assist survivors of homicide victims in navigating the criminal justice system after the violent death of their loved ones. Entitled “What To Expect After the Police Leave – A Guide to the Days After a Traumatic Event,” these forums have been developed to assist survivors of homicide victims and other crime victims.
The forum will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2012 and again on Thursday, May 10, 2012 on the 14th floor of the Leroy Smith, Jr. Public Safety Building. Registration will begin at 8:30 am on both days with the programs beginning at 9:00 am and ending by 2:00 pm
The day’s agenda is comprehensive. Through lively discussion with law enforcement professionals, attendees will have the opportunity to learn the intricacies of the criminal justice system. Some of the topics to be covered include: “The CSI Effect” – How Crime Scenes are Processed and Preserved; “Law and Order” – Navigating the Criminal Justice System from Investigation through Prosecution; and 30-Second Sound Bites – Your Right to Privacy v. the Public’s Right to Know. A simulated crime scene and separate fingerprint presentation are just two of the live demonstrations that will round out the day’s activities.
Acting Prosecutor Murray stated that the goal of these planned events is to sensitize citizens to the rights and needs of crime victims.
“Every resident of Essex County can join in our crusade for victims’ rights, victims’ services and victims’ justice. Our individual and community safety depends on such involvement and cannot be successful without the commitment of everyone,” said Acting Prosecutor Murray.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy was created to guide crime victims through the complex and often confusing criminal justice system. The unit provides assistance with medical and mental health compensation, criminal justice orientation, transportation, property return, childcare, crisis intervention, and social service referrals. Specially trained victim advocates offer resources and alternatives to help victims cope with the trauma associated with violent crime.
For further information, please contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy at 973-621-4687 or 621-4707 Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m. You can also visit the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office website at www.njecpo.org.