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KDOC Commemorates National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 2-8

by KDOC News — last modified Aug 15, 2017 01:41 PM
The Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC), in commemoration of Kansas Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 2-8, 2017, will present programs for correctional staff and inmates illustrating how victim-centered practices benefit victims and inmates.


NEWS RELEASE

April 3, 2017                                      

KDOC Commemorates National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 2-8
Agency to highlight restorative-justice practices for staff and offenders


The Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC), in commemoration of Kansas Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 2-8, 2017, will present programs for correctional staff and inmates illustrating how victim-centered practices benefit victims and inmates.

Governor Sam Brownback’s proclamation of Crime Victims’ Rights Week coincides with the national annual observance to raise awareness about crime victims’ rights and resources available in the community. Throughout the week, the KDOC's Office of Victim Services (OVS) will highlight the KDOC’s commitment to restorative justice principles, which encourage offenders to accept accountability for their crimes by taking responsibility, making amends and changing the attitudes and thinking behind their criminal behavior.

“Seeking justice means recognizing victims’ rights,” said Audrey Cress, KDOC’s director of victim services. “Employing restorative justice practices requires that we hear the voices of the victims. And these voices are essential for offenders to understand the true impact of their actions on the victim and the community.”

Sponsored by the KDOC's Office of Victim Services (OVS), workshops aimed at inmates in Lansing Correctional Facility and Topeka Correctional Facility will focus on the Apology Letter Repository program where apology letters written by offenders are stored and provided, upon request, to the victim. In composing a letter, an offender may acknowledge fault, express remorse or acknowledge the injury and pain caused to the victim or others. The letters do not offer excuses or request forgiveness. As part of the workshops, a guest speaker will talk about the loss of her daughter in a driving under the influence crash and how an apology letter would have aided in her healing process.

During the week, staff at the two facilities will attend training sessions to enhance their understanding of restorative justice practices and the programming available to inmates.

Events at Winfield Correctional Facility will highlight April as national Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Inmates will hear from a guest speaker about the impact of sexual assault on the victim as well as learn about the aftercare that is involved, prevention strategies and risks inmates may encounter while incarcerated. To further raise awareness among the inmate population, inmates will be able to take part in a march titled "Walk a Mile in a Victim's Shoes" around the facility's track on April 27.

In addition to the KDOC's programs during National Crime Victims' Rights Week, various fundraising events will be held at state correctional facilities and parole offices benefiting community sexual assault, domestic violence and victim advocacy agencies.

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