CRIME VICTIMS’ RIGHTS WEEK
Attorney General Mark Barnett announced that this week, April 9-15, is national Crime Victims’ Rights Week. This year’s theme, "Dare to Dream," reflects on the tremendous strides that have been made in the area of victims’ rights not only in South Dakota, but across the country as well.
"When I started in this business, South Dakota didn’t have much for victims’ rights laws," Barnett said. "But with the help of victims’ groups and the Legislature, we stepped up to give victims the rights they deserve."
The Victim’s Rights law gives victims of crime the right to stand up and be heard in court, the right to be kept informed of their case, and the right to be notified of the status of the offender. The Victim’s Compensation program was established to provide monetary assistance to victims of crime. It is funded through contributions from state and federal offenders. Since it’s beginning, the program has paid more than $2 million to over 1,900 victims.
"I am very proud of the fact that our team efforts have provided critical funds to the victims of serious crime. Fully one-third of the recipients are children. Many of the rest are young mothers in a time of great need. It is the least we can do," Barnett said.