#JusticeinPimaCounty: Week 66
Criminal justice system data warns us that victims of crime are at a higher risk of engaging in criminal activity themselves later in life. It is a destructive and very sad cycle.
Retired Federal Magistrate Charles “Chuck” Pyle shared a study with me yesterday that when the Illinois Department of Corrections assessed their inmate population not long ago, 100% demonstrated they had suffered a traumatic event in their lives before prison.
So, the question is: How can we intervene and support victims in a way that attempts to interrupt that devastating cycle?
You’ve heard me talk so much about our Victim Services Division and let me introduce you further to a very special unit embedded inside the division: Crime Victim Compensation.
Restitution and compensation can be an overlooked critical need. We know instinctively that victims need help with funerals, counseling, medical care and more after injury. But, of course, there are costs associated.
Our Compensation Unit is led by Rosanna Cortez, and along with Emily Apolinar and Wendy Sterner they bring a combined 39 years of experience toward making sure victims know what services are available and assisting in applying for financial support.
Further, their Unit is supported by the Crime Victim Compensation Board. The Board is made up of 11 working and retired professionals: high level experts from the University’s Medical School, School of Public Health, the Department of Psychiatry, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, area law enforcement, and nursing to name a few.
Now hear this: some members of the Board have been serving up to 30 years, and together the Board has served over 117 years in a complete gift of their talents to our community.
Each time they meet, decisions are made that help support victims of crime, providing opportunity to break the awful cycle of victimization leading to criminal behavior and more victimization.
This is our weekly update today. This week the Board gathered and approved 42 applications for financial assistance in order to receive the services they need. And in so doing, they play a pivotal role in helping victims heal and return to a healthy life, away from the Justice system.
This is Crime Prevention. This is where Public Health meets Public Safety. This is, the People’s Office.
To be continued…