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U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, CADDO DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, cADDO PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE CELEBRATE THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF VICTIMS CRIME ACT WITH BLOOD DRIVE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2014

SHREVEPORT, La. – U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley, along with Caddo Parish District Attorney Charles Rex Scott and Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator, are sponsoring a blood drive during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which starts April 6.

The Blood Drive will be held Monday, April 7, 2014 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Caddo Parish Courthouse, 501 Texas St., Shreveport. This gives the community an opportunity to honor someone they know who has been a victim of a crime by donating a pint of blood in their honor or memory.  This year’s theme - 30 Years: Restoring the Balance of Justice - presents an opportunity to remind us of how far we have come in aiding crime victims, but also of how much work is yet to be done.

“National Crimes Victims’ Rights Week will be held April 6 through April 12 in communities throughout the nation, including our very own,” Finley stated. “We hope that the public can come out and support this chance to save a life and honor a loved one. I want to thank the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney for co-sponsoring this event.”

“Crime victimization really knows no boundaries, and chances are you know someone who has been impacted,” said Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator. “You can show your support by giving blood in their name and help save a life in the process.”

“We stand with victims of crime every day,” said Caddo Parish District Attorney Charles Rex Scott.  “Participate in the blood drive and honor the victims of crime and their families in this special way.” 

Just 30 years ago, crime victims had virtually no rights and no assistance. The criminal justice system often seemed indifferent to their needs. Victims were commonly excluded from courtrooms and denied the chance to speak at sentencing. They had no access to victim compensation or services to help rebuild their lives. There were few avenues to deal with their emotional and physical wounds. Victims were on their own to recover their health, security, and dignity.

Today, the nation has made dramatic progress in securing rights, protections, and services for victims. Every state has enacted victims’ rights laws and all have victim compensation programs. More than 10,000 victim service agencies now help people throughout the country. In 1984, Congress passed the bipartisan Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), which created a national fund to ease victims’ suffering. Financed not by taxpayers but by fines and penalties paid by offenders, the Crime Victims Fund supports victim services, such as rape crisis and domestic violence programs and victim compensation programs that pay many of victims’ out-of-pocket expenses from the crime, such as counseling, funeral expenses, and lost wages.

For more information on National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, visit the Department of Justice’s web page on the subject at ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw.

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