A crime victims' rights advocate speaks to inmates at Mule Creek State Prison.

A crime victims’ rights advocate speaks to inmates at Mule Creek State Prison.

Five-day speakers panel allows inmates to hear stories of crime impacts

By Eddie Escobar, Community Resource Manager
Mule Creek State Prison

In observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) hosted a five-day Victim Impact Speakers Panel.

The panel was composed of victims and survivors of crime representing five victims’ rights organizations: The Hannah Rose Foundation (Shaken Baby Syndrome), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Parents of Murdered Children, Operation Care, and the Partnership for Re-entry Program.

This year’s theme was “Engaging Communities and Empowering Victims.”

During the week of April 20-24, speakers from each organization presented their stories to over 1,500 inmates and MCSP staff.  Scott Juceam, from the Hannah Rose Foundation, expressed the overarching message of all the speakers when he said, “As I share my story of my baby Hannah who was taken from me, my hope is that at least several inmates will listen and think twice about ever creating another victim.”

In addition to the Victim Impact Speaker Panel, information regarding victims’ awareness from the National Center of Victims and Crime (NCVC) and the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) was posted throughout MCSP’s four facilities. In conjunction with other activities, inmates who participate in self-help groups, and who wished to share their feelings about crime and victims, participated in an essay writing campaign.

The essays allowed the inmates to demonstrate remorse in hopes of repairing some of the harm created by their crime with words of kindness and encouragement in the pursuit of restoration for all those impacted.

To honor the victims of crime, and to express appreciation to the speakers, the inmates’ essays were compiled into a Victim Impact Booklet, which was presented to each speaker.

The booklets represented an expression of the inmates’ commitment to do their part to make communities safer, according to organizers.