TYC To Observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Jim Hurley, Director of Public Affairs
(512) 424-6016/ email@example.com
Tim Savoy, Communication Director
(512) 424-6005/ firstname.lastname@example.org
April 24, 2009
The Texas Youth Commission (TYC) will join with other local, state and national organizations in observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week from April 26 to May 2, 2009. During this week, TYC youth will participate in events designed to help young offenders understand the effect of their crimes on their victims, their victims’ families, and their communities.
TYC’s CoNEXTions rehabilitation program, the core treatment program for every TYC youth, requires young offenders to understand the consequences of their actions from the perspective of their victims. While CoNEXTions is a year-round program, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is an opportunity to focus on the victims of crime, and for TYC youth to hear victims’ stories firsthand.
A number of TYC youth will meet face-to-face with crime victims. Youth at Giddings State School, Crockett State School, Corsicana Residential Treatment Center and McFadden Ranch in Roanoke will participate in victim impact panels, where they will meet the victims and surviving family members of violent crime. These panels provide crime victims the opportunity to describe their losses to young offenders and explain the continuing impact crime has on their lives. TYC’s McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility in Mart will sponsor a shoe drive and display a pair of shoes for each victim of the TYC youth at the facility. The shoes will then be donated to a family abuse center in Waco, benefiting victims of abuse and crime.
Additional events occurring throughout all TYC facilities include flower planting in victim gardens, tree plantings, weeklong empathy lessons, and prose and poetry competitions in which youth must put themselves in their victim’s place and express how the crime has affected them.
“We realize that for each youth in our care, there are many victims of their actions,” said TYC Executive Commissioner Cherie Townsend. “Bringing this realization to the youth is an important step in their rehabilitation, and National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is the perfect opportunity to help our youth develop empathy for their victims.”
This year, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Victims of Crime Act, the landmark legislation that made a national commitment to victims of crime.