For more information
about victim services in Cook County,
Each year the Cook County States Attorney's Victim Witness Office holds a wonderful day for Victims at the South Shore Cultural Center that allows us to honor and memorialize our murdered family members and be there to support each other. There are information booths, food, memorial photos, and a lovely ceremony. This photo was taken at the 2006 gathering. Left to right: Jacque Algee and friend, Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, and Alice Thomas Norris.
CONTENTS OF THIS PAGE
ED NOTE: Maria Ramirez is one of IllinoisVictims.Org and POMC's most active victims. She has been a tireless supporter of other victim families and we are grateful that she may be able to at least know some relief from the burden of knowing her son's killer was walking free. No justice for Maria in the Criminal Justice system, but the offender does himself in - often the way with offenders.
mom: Justice served
Tuesday, August 5, 2008, 5pm-7pm at the Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive (enter off of the 18th Street exit, going north or south) will host and honor 28 slain students with memorial chairs, which was created by students of Nicholson Elementary School in the Englewood neighborhood, where each student, simply and eloquently decorated the chairs with the slain student's name, age, and school. The Field Museum is honored to present these chairs as a special memorial in the Grainger Gallery, August 5 - September 1, 2008.
John W. McCarter, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Field Museum will host the event.
Reserved free parking will be available in the Field Museum's West Parking Lot.
Some of the murdered children's names are as follows: SCHANNA GAYDEN, RUBEN IVY, ARTHUR JONES, KADEIDRAH MARSH, MIGUEL PEDRO, SAMUEL 'SAMMY' BENAVENTE, MARCUS GREER, PERCY ROUNDS, RAFAEL VILLAGRANA, JUAN HERNANDEZ, JUAN AGUILERO, ULYSSES SIMMONS, GERALD PERRY, MARLOW JONES, IGNACIO MONTANO, ISRAEL MENDOZA, RICHARD ESCOBAR, JOSEPH PEREZ, SALVADOR CONTRERAS, JOSE GARCIA, PARIS BASSETT, CORDERO WASHINGTON, JAREL SMITH, JASON EDWARDS, ROKY URIOSTEGUI, KARLTON WELLS, CHANNON TAYLOR, CHAVEZ CLARK, MARCELLUS DANIEL, MIGUEL GOMEZ, LEONARDO OTERO, JEREMY JONES, AND BLAIR HOLT.
Contact Purpose Over Pain for more information.
ed note - CLICK HERE to see contact information for the Prisoner Review Board Then WRITE them and ask them NOT to parole Paul Bryant - He was sentenced to 1,500 years in prison. That should mean a life sentence for the multiple murders and rapes he committed. Read on for the full story.
Rape victim tells parole board to keep attacker in prison
By Angela Rozas
February 20, 2008
For years, he was behind every closed door she passed,
every darkened room. In the months after he attacked her, she cut her long,
red hair, thinking maybe that was why he had made her his target.
Copyright © 2008, Chicago Tribune
When we learned that Cook County States' Attorney Richard Devine was retiring, we knew who should be the recipient of our first ever IllinoisVictims.org award.
There was a press conference where we gave the award and then a small private reception followed.
Mr. Devine introduced the Victim Witness Assistance Program
in the States Attorney office when he
was First Assistant to then State's Attorney Richard Daley. In 1999, the program
was awarded a Crime Victim Service Award from the Department of Justice for
"outstanding service on behalf of victims of crime." The award was presented by
Attorney General Janet Reno in Washington, D.C.
We are very sad to see him go. Mr. Devine has been a true friend to victims of crime and one of the kindest, wisest, most capable men we know. We wish him well but most of all, thank him profusely to all he has done for us. He has worked tirelessly to expand services to the many crime victims of one of the nation's most populous counties.
That there is a victim-sensitive person in that office has been more important than we can say. He has been on the front line for us year after hard-working year and he and his hard working and professional staff are heroes to those of us who suffer from criminal attack. He has been our good voice and advocate and we will miss him a great deal.
We know there are many candidates vying to fill this seat. Of the announced candidates we have heard of, we will be strongly supporting Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, who is also one of the wisest and most capable men we know, fiercely devoted to justice. Cook County could not do better than to have Larry Suffredin as its next States Attorney.
Cook County, the state's largest county, that holds almost half of the state's population, has the highest crime, and subsequently the largest number of victims. Cook County States Attorney Richard Devine, one of the best friends to victims in the entire state, maintains the largest victim witness program as well -- far more than any other county. Some counties in Illinois in fact do not even have a single professional victim advocate. Some downstate counties have to "loan" victim advocates to other neighboring counties when severely needed. So many we are already beginning to hear of downstate receive no county based victims' services at all.
So we in Cook County remain grateful for what we have here, while expressing concern for recent developments with the budget problems in Cook County.
In January of 2007, members of the Cook County Board struggled to come up with a budget that would deal with the rising deficits in spending and costs. Rather than do the harder work of looking carefully at where best to cut and what revenue enhancements were available, the Board President chose to cut straight across the top 17% in all departments. This was not the smart way to handle the problem. Direct front line vital services to citizens were cut - emergency room doctors and nurses, hospital services and other vital health care services, County Sheriffs, jail personnel, and vital staff for the courts which protect law and order -- prosecutors' offices, defense attorneys, and direct and indirect victim services. One of our favorite programs, the "Victim Impact Panels" or Community Impact Panels, run through the Juvenile Probation Department, was all but eliminated. This award winning program has already saved who knows how many lives because of the ways it has helped turn young people's lives around, and keep them from recidivism. Never before had we seen a more successful program promoting public safety and reduced crime. It is only being done now in one courthouse in the County - Rolling Meadows.
We understand the budget crisis the county was in. But we know that several very smart County Board members were looking to make budget cuts and revenue enhancements in a very responsible way, instead of the hatchet job that was done. Cuts weren't made where they were most needed or based on where they would make the most sense. They were lopped off like a guillotine takes off a head. And worst of all, this all happened while the Board President was being roundly criticized in the Press for padding his own staff payroll with family members and friends at extremely high salaries.
IllinoisVictims.org opposes the final budget package as it finally was accepted for all these reasons. We support the work of reformers like Larry Suffredin and Forrest Claypool and others to repair responsibly the financial matters that concern the county. And we intend to work publicly to oppose all those who voted the wrong way on this budget. We are even thinking about running our own candidates against incumbent board members who vote the wrong way on these life and death issues.
CONTACT US with any cases of victimization and re-victimization that you come across related to Cook County cases. We will try to post them all on the website, as well.
Thanks to Linnet Myers and Rose Perez of the Cook County Victim Witness Program for providing interesting information to IllinoisVictims.org about the history of victim services in one of the largest counties in the nation. Portions of this narrative come from the annual report prepared by Wendy Sadler, President of Victim-Witness Assistance Project, Inc, 1980.
While victim services are generally excellent in Cook County, many counties, especially in downstate Illinois do not have any victims services, which is why we want to highlight this history, in the hopes that all counties in Illinois will find ways to offer at least some basic victim services.
Victim services in Cook County are now a part of the office of the States Attorney, but in their origins they were done privately and voluntarily. The Victim-Witness Assistance Project, Inc. began in the late 70's as a project of the Junior League. They began by providing operations at two courthouses: 26th and California, and Western and Belmont.
Direct services and support for victims and witnesses of crime included one to one counseling, helping with filing of victims' compensation, getting employers to approve court time for employees, working with adult probation on cases in which victims had not received court ordered restitution from the defendant, and helping the victim or witness get through the day in court. They sent thousands of outreach letters informing victims of their right to compensation.
The project employed two full time professionals: an Executive and Associate Director. They had a team of 35 volunteers, 32 from the Junior League. Volunteers were trained and selected the locations they wanted to work. The project was overseen by a Board of Directors that managed the funds given by the Junior League.
In 1979-1980 the Illinois Organization of Victim Assistance (IOVA) was established with funding from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration in Washington, D.C. The Project's ED Martha Yandle served as president of IOVA. IOVA began coordinating efforts to bring state-wide victim-witness professionals together to clarify and facilitate the purposes of the various agencies of the state. And the Project donated matching funds to help them get started. Ms. Yandle also served on the national board of directors of NOVA, and the Project and NOVA exchanged training and expertise.
The Victim-Witness Assistance Project, Inc also worked on legislation, such as bills in defense of employees who were at risk in their jobs because they had to take time off to be in court, and bills dealing with victim compensation. Junior League advisors did training on how to write legislation.
One interesting result of the creation of the Victim-Witness Project's study into results showed definitely that the presence of the program in the two courthouses led to the following differences compared to Cook County courthouses without victim services: far fewer dismissals of cases in preliminary hearings and a greater percentage of cases whose dispositions were favorable to the prosecution.
In 1980 the Project worked with the Cook County State's Attorney's office to move the program under that office. The Junior League extended funding during the financial transition, sharing expenses with the lesser funded government program. They set up a Community Advisory Committee to assist in a strong, new Victim-Witness Assistance Unit within the Cook County State's Attorney office.
We are all now grateful for these visionary pioneers, not only here in Illinois, but nationally who grew the field of victims rights and victim services from the late 60's forward to today.
COOK COUNTY CASES
Please click on the link at the top of this page to get more information about the releases in Feb. 2, 20007 on John Outlaw and Frederick Thomas, the murderer of Chicago Police Officer Kenneth Kaner, and the longest serving inmate in Illinois, William Heirens.
Click here for outcry from Victims Family in Oak Park area death penalty trial and go to "Viewpoint" then "Letters" and "April 1, 2008" - advocates for offenders should learn from this to be sensitive in all public communications about how their wording will be perceived by victims families.
Westside Chapter Monthly Meetings:
Mount Sinai Hospital, California Ave at
15th Street, Chicago, II 60608
Chicago Area Chapter meets Monthly:
Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St., on the 1st
Thursday of each month, 7-9 pm
ANGEL CORPS - A project of UCAN (Uhlich Childrens' Advantage Network) - Victims helping Victims, peer and group support, with Social Service professionals available at a 24 hour hotline at 312-388-2900
Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins and Bill Jenkins
We are all here for each other. We are SUPPORT for each other.
Both Jennifer and Bill have had family members murdered and met doing victim work.