Victims Voices

Victims voice’s need to be be heard too. When Jennifer Bishop came to speak in class, I was completely touched.  I have had a little experience with a victim of a crime.  My 2nd cousin’s family was murdered, and the surviving member of that family, my 2nd cousin, returns every year to Leavenworth Maximum Security Prison every year, in Leavenworth Kansas, in order to keep the guilty man from receiving parole.  I see how she hurts, just as I saw Jennifer hurting.  It is important to take into consideration that the victims aren’t just the ones that literally got physically hurt. Their families and friends are suffering emotionally, as the pain and hurt never fully goes away.  I never thought about the ways victims deal with their pain. Either buried away in a place that at any moment can be dug up when a familiar smell, name or memory comes to mind. Or victims can take the pain and turn it around into something positive to help them deal.  Websites are dedicated to just this: the victims.  After looking over some of  them I realized that it never really ends at the Continue reading

Victims and Jenifer Bishop Jenkins

Jenifer Bishop Jenkins brought to light an often over looked issue in the criminal justice scene, that is how to deal with victims of violent crimes or extreme tragedy.  Jenkins showed how a victim can take on one of two roles.  One could choose to be extremely depressed, living in fear and only going through the motions of life.  Or, like Jenkins, one could choose the role of advocate, still at times being say but sharing their personal story in order to create awareness, doing so in memory of their lost loved one and others who may have come into the same end.  Jenkins has taken what has happened in her life and is trying to shed light on the subject of victims.  She has chosen to take the high road or as they say she has learned to make lemonade with what lemons life gave her.  During her speech for out class she did still  Continue reading

Response to Victim’s Websites

It was not until Jennifer Bishop Jenkins came in to speak to our class about victim’s rights did I ever really start thinking about victim’s rights at all. To me, being a victim seemed like such a passive and depressing experience, but it really isn’t. You can do a lot of things as an active victim to ensure that you’re wishes are being considered, that the offender is serving his/her crime, and to ensure your own safely as well as your family’s. Websites such as www.murdervictims.com/Parole and http://www.citizensagainsthomicide.org have a set of guidelines to follow when protesting the parole of the offender and offer legal help. This includes writing a detailed description of the crime, a history of the victim’s life, their future goals and reasons why the offender shouldn’t be paroled. I understand why many victims would want to do this- especially if they feel that the offender is only spending a minimal amount of time in prison, yet at the same time I feel like it is a very anti-restorative justice movement. Victims don’t seem to have any concern for rehabilitative Continue reading

Questions of bias

After reading all of these articles and essays from class, what I find interesting is that it usually plays up the sympathetic side of the prisoner. I find myself feeling bad for the prisoner, and yes, there is quite a lot of evidence that shows the injustice that they face. But I just wonder how I would feel if I read something from the point-of-view of a victim. For example, I read a story about a woman who murdered her mother-in-law, but the reason she was in prison was only briefly mentioned. Instead it described the horrible conditions she dealt with while in prison, and by the end I felt sorry for her. But imagine if I read about the same situation, except told through the eyes of someone in the victim’s family. I bet the murderer would come across as a monster, and I would believe it too.

This all just shows how influential the writing is on how you form your opinions. It is easy to feel connected to the side that is being victimized.  As of now, we are focusing more on the perspective of the prisoners, Continue reading