With the House vote Friday, the Florida Legislature has passed its most expansive justice reform bill in 20 years, an initiative led by the state’s crime surivors, many of whom rallied in Tallahassee this session to call for change.
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A new, and sobering, report released last month reveals that four in 10 Texans have been a victim of crime in the past 10 years, with many experiencing trauma, stress, anxiety and fear as a result. The report from the Alliance for Safety and Justice further shows that seven in 10 violent crime victims have been victims more than once, and that nine in 10 Texas crime victims do not receive support from the state’s victim compensation program that could help them recover.
As a survivor of the 1992 murder of my two daughters, mother, sister, niece and nephew, I have spent much time thinking about what could have prevented the murders of my family over the past 27 years. While the man who did this was convicted and ultimately executed, I am committed to helping prevent these kinds of tragedies by ensuring the use of proactive safety solutions.
If Gov. Ron DeSantis signs Florida’s criminal justice reform bill into law soon, it will mean the voices of citizens like Darla and Elliott Saunders are starting to matter more than the voices of politicians like Mike Hill. Hill was the lone dissenting voice in the state House against a bill aimed at reducing recidivism and pulling back some of the harsher penalties against low-level, nonviolent crimes. He criticized the bill’s bundling and feared it would send a message Florida is getting too soft on crime.
Increasingly, victims of crime and their surviving family members are speaking out for reconciliation, rather than retribution, in the debate over criminal justice reform. In April, about 500 people gathered at the Convention Center in downtown Sacramento, California for the annual Survivors Speak Conference. The conference, organized by Californians for Safety and Justice (CSJ), a …
Agnes Furey, who works with survivors of violent crime, knows what it’s like to get the proverbial telephone call. She got hers in 1998, when authorities delivered the news that her 40-year-old daughter and 6-year-old grandson were killed in their Sarasota apartment. “I can’t change what happened,” said Furey, 80, who lives in Tallahassee. “What …
Survivors of violent crime raise their voices in California to call for a new approach to criminal justice
Her father, uncle, a cousin and two older brothers. Those are some of the family members 16-year-old Aaliyah Smith has lost to gun violence. Then there are her friends.
Crime survivors from across the country were in Sacramento Monday for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
More than 600 crime survivors from across California are expected to join state and community leaders in Sacramento on April 9-10 for the largest convening of crime survivors in the U.S.