Sunday, April 19, 2009
Shelly Hall, Director of Prosecution-based Victim-Witness Advocacy
For District Attorney Julia Slater Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit
Columbus, GA - The Prosecution-based Victim Advocacy Program of District Attorney Julia Slater and the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit has received a grant to assist with activities during National Crime Victims' Rights Week. The week, April 26 through May 2, 2009, promotes awareness of the rights afforded to crime victims and services that are available to them.
"These funds will enable us to hold the biggest National Crime Victims" Rights Week that this circuit has ever seen," said Shelly Hall, director of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit's Prosecution-based Victim Advocacy Program. "We plan to be visible throughout our communities raising awareness of victims' rights."
The Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit's Prosecution-based Victim Advocacy Program was one of 58 projects selected for funding for 2009 from the more than 186 applications that were submitted. According to Hall, local activities to honor National Crime Victims' Rights Week will take place in all six counties of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, including Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Muscogee, Talbot and Taylor.
"We kicked off National Crime Victims' Rights Week early in our circuit." said Hall. "In March and early April, we teamed up with the Columbus Lions Football Team and local DARE officers and visited area high schools to educate students on the effects of drinking and driving."
On Monday, April 20 from noon until 1 p.m., the public is invited to a Town Hall Forum on the plaza level of the Government Center. The panel will feature newly-elected District Attorney Julia Slater, Solicitor-General Ben Richardson, Judge Stephen Hyles, and Kellie Wiggins, whose sister Marie was murdered in 2004.
On Sunday, April 26 from 2-4 p.m., the Victim Advocacy Program will host a Crime Victim Memorial Service at the Homicide Brick Memorial located at the Riverwalk behind South Commons. The event will feature Senator Seth Harp, Kellie Wiggins, and the release of butterflies to remember and honor victims of crime. A reception will follow this event.
Additionally, the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit will host a Crime Victims Resource Expo on Saturday, May 2 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Columbus Civic Center.
"This free, fun and informative day will highlight services available in our community for victims of crime," said Hall, "and we welcome area medical, business, educational, outreach, legal aid, food service, and military organizations and affiliations, as well as anyone who has information, insight, or resources to offer past, present, or future crime victims."
No items will be for sale at the Expo. For more information on the Expo or to obtain an application for a free exhibit booth, call (706) 653-4426. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Door prizes will be given away hourly at the event.
Finally, on Saturday, May 2, the Victim Advocacy Program will promote National Crime Victims' Rights Week at the Columbus Lion's football game. Doors will open at 6 p.m., with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.
"Members of our community are encouraged to help promote justice through service to crime victims by joining our 2009 National Crime Victims' Rights Week activities and by supporting our Prosecution-based Victim Advocacy Program throughout the year," said Hall.