Law Enforcement Joins with Victims to Support Smart Criminal Justice Reform Initiatives

Anne Seymour, National Crime Victim Advocate and Member, NSA Domestic Violence & Victim Services Committee

Over the past decade, more than thirty states have embraced thoughtful, data-driven criminal justice policy reforms to improve their public safety outcomes while holding offenders accountable and curbing corrections spending. The “Sentencing, Corrections and Public Safety Guiding Principles for Crime Victims and Survivors” were developed by crime victims, survivors and victim assistance professionals to inform and support states’ criminal justice reform initiatives. These Guiding Principles recognize that smart criminal justice policy halts the cycle of recidivism, redirects limited correctional resources to programs and policies proven to work, and ultimately leads to fewer victims.

Leaders of the National Sheriffs’ Association, such as Past President Sheriff Craig Webre, Sheriff Kathy Witt and Sheriff Gary Raney (ret.) (among others), have joined over 35 national victim assistance organizations and all states’ Departments of Corrections victim services programs as signatories to the Guiding Principles.

Crime victims and survivors have an integral role in America’s criminal justice system and efforts to promote individual and public safety. Over the past decade, crime survivors and their advocates have proactively engaged state and federal conversations about effective criminal justice policy to ensure that their needs are identified and that gaps in victims’ rights and services are effectively addressed.

Law enforcement has been an important partner in this work, particularly in addressing critical issues such as victim notification and safety, mental health and rehabilitation programming for defendants, and building partnerships with community members – including victim assistance programs – that promote individual and community safety.

We invite you to join us and validate the importance of involving crime survivors and their advocates in justice reform efforts. To sign on as a signatory to the “Sentencing, Corrections and Public Safety Guiding Principles for Crime Victims and Survivors,” please click here to submit your information.