2023 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) DeLano, England, Caughman, Seymour
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO DESIGNATE APRIL 23-29, 2023, AS "NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS' WEEK IN MISSISSIPPI" AND TO DESIGNATE FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2023, AS A "DAY OF PRAYER FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME IN MISSISSIPPI".
WHEREAS, being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system can be a frightening and confusing experience; and
WHEREAS, progress in improving the treatment of crime victims has been made through the efforts of thousands of victims and survivors who have turned their own experiences into a force for positive change, ensuring that others can receive justice, meaningful assistance, and compassionate treatment before the law; and
WHEREAS, since the passage of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, and through the dedicated work of advocates, lawmakers, and victim service providers, there is a growing array of services and resources available to victims and their loved ones; and
WHEREAS, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Crime Data Explorer, in 2021 there were 3,434 violent crime incidents reported by 137 law enforcement agencies in Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Crime Data Explorer, in 2021 there were 31,243 property crime incidents reported by 137 law enforcement agencies in Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, the rights of crime victims in Mississippi are protected in Mississippi's Constitution, Section 26A(l) "Victims of crime, as defined by law, shall have the right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect throughout the criminal justice process; and to be informed, to be present and to be heard, when authorized by law, during public hearings"; and
WHEREAS, ensuring the rights of crime victims in Mississippi is further detailed in Mississippi's Constitution, Section 26A(3) "(3) The Legislature shall have the authority to enact substantive and procedural laws to define, implement, preserve and protect the rights guaranteed to victims by this section"; and
WHEREAS, honoring the rights of victims, including the rights to be heard and to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect, and working to meet their needs rebuilds their trust in the criminal justice and social service systems; and
WHEREAS, individuals' trust in the compassion, understanding, and support of their communities is achieved through sustained, deep-rooted and coordinated outreach; and
WHEREAS, identifying, reaching, and serving all victims of crime, especially those from groups that often have less access to healing services and avenues to justice is essential; and
WHEREAS, Mississippi's continued engagement with the challenges faced by victims of crime will ensure that the progress made to date is not lost, and that new ground is broken to gain
greater justice and healing for all victims; and
WHEREAS, National Crime Victims' Rights Week provides an opportunity to recommit to ensuring that accessible, appropriate, and trauma-informed services are offered to all victims of crime; and
WHEREAS, establishing a day of prayer acknowledges Mississippi's faith community and the power of prayer that is critical to providing support for victims of crime, and is rooted
throughout scripture, in particular, 2 Kings 20:5, "I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Now I am healing you":
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby designate April 23-29, 2023, as "National Crime Victims' Week in Mississippi" and designate Friday, April 28, 2023, as a "Day of Prayer for Victims of Crime in Mississippi."
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be transmitted to the Secretary of State for appropriate distribution and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.