For Immediate Release
June 13, 2001
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
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.
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.