Victims of crime have rights that are guaranteed in the Alaska constitution and also in state statutes. In 2001, the Alaska legislature created a new agency called Office of Victims’ Rights, aimed at helping crime victims obtain those rights with respect to contact with criminal justice agencies in the state. For example, a victim is allowed to be present at criminal or juvenile proceedings where the accused has the right to be present.
The lack of this right catalyzed an Alaska family in the mid-80s to launch a local nonprofit. According to its website, “Victims for Justice was founded in 1985 after the loss of Janice Lienhart and Sharon Nahorney’s parents and their aunt, brutally murdered during a home invasion. Following the murder, a hearing was held but was closed to the public, denying all rights of the family to defend their lost loved ones.
“Directly following the hearing, Lienhart and Nahorney aggressively fought in the victims’ rights movement in Alaska. The two wanted to create a place where victims of violent crime could get professional assistance while also coping with their grief and trauma.”
On the upcoming Hometown Alaska, co-hosts Kathleen McCoy and Senior Judge Elaine Andrews will discuss victims rights with representatives from both the state office and the nonprofit.
Your questions and comments are always welcome throughout the show. Join us.
- Kathleen McCoy and Senior Judge Elaine Andrews
- Taylor Winston, director, Alaska Office of Victims’ Rights
- Michelle Evans, lead victim advocate, Victims for Justice
- Alaska Office of Victims Rights website
- What are my rights as a crime victim? AOVR website
- Victims for Justice website
- Know your rights, VFJ website
- A Handbook for Victims of Crime in Alaska, (26-page PDF) Alaska Judicial Council, 1995.
- Should a murderer go free? Help the parole board decide. Guest column by Tamera Lienhart 3.20.18 in Must Read Alaska blog
- Lawmaker: State cash better spent on prosecutors than on victim advocates, ADN, 12.2.2017
- Family worries about convicted killer getting out on parole, KTVA, 3.21.2018
- Triple murder culprit of 1985 denied parole, KTUU, 4.5.2018
- The rise of the victims’ rights movement, The New Yorker, May 21, 2018
- #MeToo has done what the law could not, Opinion piece, The New York Times, 2.4.2018
- Recruitment, retention still major hurdles for Alaska State Troopers, KTUU, 2.17.2018
- Alaska State Troopers say cuts may force them out of urban areas, APM, 12.22.2016
- High referral rate for VPSO-assisted sexual assault cases, UAA Justice Center report, Spring 2018
- From criminal to cop, and back again, in Alaska’s most vulnerable villages, ADN, June 8, 2018
- Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
- Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
- Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)
- LIVE: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
- REPEAT: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.