Often an individual's first encounter with the criminal justice system is when they become the victim of a crime. For most crime victims, navigating through the court system can be a daunting experience. Most victims that are new to the workings of the criminal justice system may become angry and frustrated. You may feel that laws you thought were designed to protect you are really designed to protect criminals. You may wonder if the victim has any rights.
We are sorry for the circumstances that bring you to our group, but we hope that we can be of some assistance to you as you work through your grief. Our meetings are open to any survivor of a homicide victim: Parent, Brother, Sister, Son, Daughter, Cousin, Aunt, Uncle, Grandparent, or Friend. You are invited to attend our meetings each month. Nothing is required of you. There are no dues or fees and you need not speak a word.
In recent years, the victims' movement has sought to re-establish a place for the victim in the American criminal justice process and to enhance the rights of crime victims. It is important to note that the thrust of the victims' movement has been to increase the rights of victims, not to eliminate or reduce the rights of criminal defendants.
Thanks to the efforts of victim rights groups, crime victims no longer get lost or forgotten in the criminal justice process. Almost every state in the U.S. has passed laws that protect the victims of a crime.