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The Minnesota Department of Corrections recognized National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), April 24-28, 2006, with a host of activities involving staff and offenders at the state’s prisons. “Each year during National Crime Victims' Rights Week, the Corrections Department remembers those who have lost their lives in violent crimes,” said Corrections Commissioner Joan Fabian.     “It is an important part of renewing our commitment to addressing the needs of victims and their families and to building public awareness of crime victims' rights.”

National Crime Victims Rights Week - pdf format

STW Hansen & offender talk after event

 

Tim Hansen, DOC restorative justice planner, and Jerome Nunn), offender member of the Stillwater Restorative Justice Committee, talk after an NCVRW event at the facility.

jane hendrickson w/photo of murdered child

The MCF-Rush City Restorative Justice Program hosted a presentation by Jayne Hendrickson who shared with offenders the impact of the murder of her daughter by an offender on metham-phetamines.  Ms. Hendrickson shared that "No amount of prison time or punishment will ever bring back a murdered family member. However, if examining the journey and how life (anyone's life) can change in a 'split second in time' through a choice made will help one inmate not reoffend, one student not touch methamphetamine, one community leader understand, or one criminal justice professional gain more compassion, then the story needs to be told and her death not be in vain."

     Ms. Hendrickson also spoke to staff and offenders at the Lino Lakes, St. Cloud, Stillwater, and Oak Park Heights facilities.

An offender at MCF-Lino Lakes created this poster to represent empathy for crime victims

 

 

Offenders at the MCF-Lino Lakes created posters like this one in observance of NCVRW.

 

Jon Cummings, whose son was killed by a drunk driver, speaks at the MCF-Lino Lakes for NCVRW. Cummings is the founder of Minnesotans for Safe Driving.

   Jon Cummings speaks about his son, who was killed by a drunk driver, as part of Crime Victims' Rights Week

Mary Johnson shared her story and message of hope with staff and offenders at the Moose Lake, Willow River, and Lino Lakes correctional facilities.  She also made a presentation to staff At Lino Lakes, Mary Johnson speaks to offenders NCVRW2006at the department's central office.  Johnson's son was killed by an offender in 1993.  Johnson and the offender have had several dialogs since 2005, facilitiated by Tim Hansen, department restorative justice planner and dialog facilitator.

     In addition to speaking to offender and staff groups during NCVRW, Johnson was a guest on WCCO Radio.  The Northland News covered her visit to Moose Lake (see below).

Mother Of Victim Visits Offenders At Moose Lake Facility

Northland News Center - April 25, 2006

MOOSE LAKE - Prisons across Minnesota are remembering those who have lost their lives in violent crimes.  It's part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Dan Hanger was in Moose Lake on Monday, where one forgiving woman touched the lives of both victims and offenders.

     Mary Johnson - sharing her family tragedy to about 50 offenders at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Moose Lake. "Hope. That's what I want: hope,” said Johnson. “I want them to get to a place to admit what they have done and forgive themselves." Her son was shot and killed in 1993 on the north side of Minneapolis. She went through years of grieving, hatred, and frustration. But she says after meeting her son's killer and working through God to forgive, she has been able to heal and help others. She says it was through this process where she learned that victims and offenders come from mothers, and that forgiveness helps the healing process for both sides.

     She has started a healing group for mothers of victims and offenders called From Death to Life – Two Mothers. "Since we both have the same kind of pain, like I said, hurt is hurt; pain is pain; grief is grief, I believe that when we come together and we heal we will be able to make a difference."

     Case Manager Nate Knutson says it's important for offenders to hear Mary's story. We also want the offenders to see that crime and the affects of crime touches people in a ways that they don't always see."  The offenders in the room, ranging from murderers to sexual offenders, are set to be released in the near future or coming years. Knutson says this is a critical time to affect the lives of these offenders, people who will be moving back into our communities.

     Mary's visit is part of four events scheduled this week for the more than 900 offenders at the facility.

At Lino Lakes, a panel presents to TRIAD offenders for NCVRW2006.

 

Representatives from the Washington County Circle Council joined with staff of the Tubman Family Alliance to present a forum on restorative justice at the MCF-Lino Lakes.  Offenders who attended the presentation were from the facility's TRIAD chemical dependency treatment unit.

Offenders who serve on the MCF-Lino Lakes Restorative Justice Committee addressed various units in advance of NCVRW to encourage their peers to contribute to an organization for victims.  They were successful in their efforts, raising $1,653.  The money was donated to Tubman Family Alliance; Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD); Voices and Faces; and Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN).
Jim Lym - NCVRW2006 speaker at Moose Lake

 

 

Jim Lym, Chair of the Minnesota Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children, was a guest speaker at the MCF-Moose Lake as part of NCVRW activities.  Lym's son, Mike, was murdered in 1995.

 

Detectives Stefanie Bolks and David Bork from the Eagan Police Department spoke to offenders in the sex offender treatment program at the MCF-Lino Lakes.  Their topic:  The effect of crime on law enforcement.

Detectives speak at Lino Lakes as part of NCVRW2006

Millar at RW as part of NCVRW2006

 

Jacki Millar visited the MCF-Red Wing to share her story with juvenile residents. She was shot at close range in the head and left for dead by two juveniles during a robbery.  Millar has learned to live with a number of disabilities and now travels extensively to share her story of hope with others.

     Millar also made presentations to staff and offenders at the Faribault and Shakopee correctional facilities.

 
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Contact Information

John Schadl
651/361-7229
john.schadl@state.mn.us

 

 

Minnesota Department of Corrections
1450 Energy Park Drive
Suite 200
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108

651-361-7200

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