American Correctional Association Victims and Restorative Justice Committee
American Probation and Parole Association Victim Issues Committee
Association of Paroling Authorities International, Victims Committee
National Association of Victim Assistance in Corrections
National Institute of Corrections,
Network of Post-Conviction Victim Service Providers
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. The time-honored tradition of NCVRW seeks to educate people in America about the rights and needs of victims and survivors of crime, and promote their rights and the myriad services available to assist them.
From the creation of Victims Committees at ACA (1987), APPA (1991), and APAI (1992) and the establishment of the National Association of Victim Assistance in Corrections (NAVAC, formerly known as NAVSPIC) and the National Institute of Corrections Network of Post-Conviction Victim Service Providers, the field of corrections has recognized the importance of enforcing victims’ rights in the post-sentencing phases of their cases, and providing services and support to the victims and survivors of the offenders whom they detain and supervise.
This document marks the first time that the leading national correctional agencies and organizations and their respective victim/survivor-related Committees have joined together on a project that we hope will enhance and promote corrections-based victim services. Outreach to our respective members contributed to these creative ideas about how correctional agencies can partner with victim assistance organizations to promote 2016 NCVRW in six categories:
If you have any questions about the ideas and resources included in this document, please email Anne Seymour.
NCVRW Theme: “Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.”
Theme Colors: Medium Blue and Dark Gold
Restorative Justice Offender Councils are responsible for hosting fundraisers. Items available for purchase include pizzas, chicken wings, headphones, ice cream, brownies (i.e., items they cannot normally get in canteen). Eighty percent of the proceeds are then donated to a crime victim service organization in Minnesota. The remaining 20 percent is transferred to a centralized account managed by the DOC RJ Lead Coordinator at Central Office. The funds are used to support victims in restorative justice practices (VOD, VOCARE). Additionally, funds in this account can also be used to provide victims and facilitators with small stipends for speaking engagements and victim impact programming. Offenders must complete a voucher with their account information in order to purchase items in the fundraiser. Beginning in 2016, all vouchers will include a space for offenders to make an additional straight donation on top of the price of the items they ordered.
Offender musical groups/bands put on a concert and sell tickets with the proceeds going to local victim service agencies.
Talent shows are hosted with ticket sales donated to victim service programs.
Food and coffee sales are available for inmates to purchase, with food donated by community-based restaurants, coffee houses and food kitchens
Silent auction offers inmate-made hobby items for staff purchase
Inmate art projects are sold to the public and staff
Sponsorship of and participation in fun runs:
Sponsorship of a “New Beginnings” Flower Garden, where staff and inmates can purchase paper flowers (with their name on them) for $1.00 to be displayed on the windows within an institution; $5.00 donations get a different-colored flower
Monetary donations are accepted from inmates to benefit a victim services agency or program (such as PAWS program for domestic violence victims fleeing their homes with pets in Pennsylvania)
Youthful offenders sponsor a car wash, with proceeds going to a local domestic violence shelter or children’s advocacy center
Adult and juvenile probationers sponsor a coat drive for domestic violence shelters/programs
Sponsorship of a “Make the Chain” Campaign, where participants summarize their involvement in crime into one sentence which is written on to a slip of colored paper:
Crime victims and survivors share their stories with inmates and discuss the impact of crime on them, which is followed by an introspection circle of inmates using restorative justice practices to discuss what they heard, what they learned, what was impactful, and what was challenging.
Sponsorship of “Color Days” during NCVRW that recognize and honor specific victim/survivor populations:
Sponsorship of an Apology Bank letter-writing symposium
Offenders are invited to workshops to learn more about writing letters of apology to the people they harmed.
Hosting a “Day of Responsibility” during NCVRW for inmates that focuses on accountability to victims, their own families and their communities
Sponsorship of a Clothesline Project with t-shirts created by crime victims that depict their personal experience as survivors
Implementation of victim awareness classes for adult and juvenile inmates/detainees and probationers that reflect the NCVRW theme
Sponsorship of conferencing circles that focus on victim-related issues and concerns, and the NCVRW theme
Creation of a “pinwheel garden” to support victim awareness and crime prevention (particularly child abuse prevention):
Sponsorship of drama, spoken word and choral performances that address different types of victimization:
Sponsorship of art or poster/essay contests, poetry contests or poetry slams that focus on the NCVRW theme:
A panel of parolees and victims/survivors speak to troubled youth (i.e., second chance schools or juvenile justice detainees) about the impact of crime on their victims’ lives and their own lives, and the impact of making wrong decisions
Corrections agencies’ staff members participate in NCVRW public and victim awareness events and activities:
Use of the “Notable Quotables” included in the OVC NCVRW Resource Guide for inmate/probationer education and awareness:
Display the NCVRW theme poster, educational posters and state/local crime statistics in correctional agencies:
Sponsorship of a designated “moment of silence” for correctional staff and those whom they supervise to recognize and honor victims and survivors, and those who serve them
An inmate presents a reading that he wrote about his offense and the impact on his victim, himself, their families and the community
Development of a “pledge” about victim awareness and offender accountability that inmates and probationers can sign:
Hosting a NCVRW-specific program that focuses on the importance of victim restitution as a tenet of offender accountability and helping the victim recover pecuniary losses resulting from their crimes:
The NCVRW theme DVD and other victim awareness-related DVDs are shown on correctional institutions’ in-house channels
Providing inmates with the “history of crime victim services” (included each year in the OVC NCVRW Resource Guide), and have some give presentations about the history and accomplishments of the field
Inmate/probationer artists create coloring books for children that focus on the NCVRW theme
Sponsorship of a bulletin board competition with artwork, poetry or other visual arts, which can be related to the NCVRW theme
Any agency/institution tours conducted during NCVRW include an overview of the NCVRW theme, and the agency’s efforts to promote victims’ rights and services
Sponsorship of a staff training program that focuses on the differences between batterer intervention programs and anger management programs
Sponsorship of a staff training program about workplace violence and staff victimization, including prevention and response
Holding meetings with local district attorneys (or other justice officials) and promote victims’ rights and the right to notification and participation throughout institution and community corrections
Victims and survivors share their personal experiences with staff, and reflect on the role of corrections in justice and offender accountability
Providing staff presentations on PREA and their important role in preventing sexual violence
Collaboration with state coalitions against domestic violence and sexual assault to identify needs that can be addressed through community service projects or correctional staff voluntarism
Staff collection of toiletries to donate to domestic violence shelters and programs
Restorative community service activities (can include information about the corrections/victim service partnership to promote NCVRW, and victims’ rights and services within a state):
“Impact of Crime on Victims” programs focus for one week on the NCVRW theme
Sponsorship of psycho-educational classes and debriefing in victim issues
Sponsorship of essay writing contests for clients that focus on the NCVRW theme
Creation of a specialized focus on PREA education and awareness for inmates and probationers:
Development of public service announcements (video/print/web) that highlight victims’ positive experience with the criminal justice and corrections systems, and formerly incarcerated persons speaking about their experiences and accountability
Inclusion of support from correctional agencies in all NCVRW state and local proclamations commemorating the week
Sponsorship of a social media campaign that promotes the corrections/victim services partnership:
Co-sponsorship of information/community fairs about victims’ rights and services, crime prevention, and corrections-based victim services, in the community:
Victim service agencies and organizations honor correctional agencies for their efforts that benefit crime victims; and correctional agencies honor survivors and advocates that participate in correctional agencies’ programming, with media outreach to recognize efforts
In support of the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women and its Clothesline Project, offenders at Minnesota Correctional Facility- Stillwater created a shirt in honor of a woman killed by her intimate partner in 2015. The shirt is now a part of the 2015 Clothesline Project, a visual memorial of the “cost” of domestic violence. Here is a link to the national site: http://www.clotheslineproject.org/.
Sponsorship of an agency ceremony or tribute to staff who were killed in the line of duty.