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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

For Immediate Release
June 13, 2001
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

DOC Secretary Moore to
Address Victims Conference

Department of Corrections Secretary Michael W. Moore will address participants of The Florida Network of Victim Witness Services 2001 Annual Conference next week.

Victim services and rights are a top department priority for Moore.

"This year, nearly six million Americans will become victims of violent crime," Moore said. "Crime victims have the right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard. At the Department of Corrections, we work hard to make sure they are treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity."

Moore has implemented a number of programs aimed at serving victims' needs.

  • A toll-free victim service hotline is available so victims can obtain the latest information on the status of any inmate. Staff respond to more than 900 calls a month.

  • VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) is a 24-hour, toll-free hotline that proactively notifies crime victims of the whereabouts of offenders.

  • Victim sensitivity training is provided to field staff.

  • Victim Impact Panels, comprised of victims and victim advocates, visit prisons to tell their story to offenders in order to demonstrate the impact of crime.

  • Victim services via the Internet allow victims to correspond with the victim assistance program and receive notification and information about offenders.

Moore said the Department of Corrections has earmarked $1.4 million to implement automated notification statewide so crime victims can access information about prisoners in local jails in addition to those in the state prison system. He said this system also will notify law enforcement and the courts of the offender's status.

"In the last few years, we have made great strides in victim notification, restitution, and assistance," Moore said. "We are conducting a pilot program in voluntary victim-offender mediation of non-violent crime to allow offenders to accept responsibility for their actions and work toward restoring the victim.

"Unfortunately, there always will be victims of crime. We must be ever-mindful of our obligation to protect and help these victims as they try to heal," Moore said.

The Department of Corrections is a co-sponsor of The Florida Network Conference. The conference provides training for advocates, counselors, victim service program directors, prosecutors, law enforcement and mental health professionals who work with crime victims.

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