By Lt. Gregory R. Bergersen, AA/PIO

Valley State Prison

Valley State Prison hosted victims’ rights groups to speak to the inmate population on Sunday, the first day of National Crime Victims Week.

More than 500 inmates attended.  They were addressed by members from three local victims’ rights groups.

Angelina Lopez of the Community Action Partnership of Madera County (CAPMC) gave her account of being a victim and told how she carries her own personal “life sentence” as a result of being abused.

She also told the inmates about CAPMC and the services it provides.

Also providing information about the services that their organizations provide were Ron Marby from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and Robin Leppo from the Madera County Child Abuse Prevention Council.

Inmate Michael Baldwin and Community Resource Manager Carmen Maroney worked to get the event scheduled. Ten inmates volunteered as inmate coordinators to help spread the word, set-up and organize the event.

“This event was not only powerful,” Maroney said, “but some inmates were overcome with emotion.  I cannot thank the groups enough for sharing their stories and informing us all about their services.  The inmates who attended were engaged in the speeches and really participated in the question and answer session.  This event was a great way to kick off National Crime Victims Week by bringing awareness to this important issue.”

VSP Crime Victims week

Crime victim advocates and inmate coordinators of the National Crime Victims Week event at Valley State Prison.