In response to The Lima News article, “Jail population trimmed by almost half in face of virus,” Crime Victim Services is grateful to our local judges and prosecutors who are aware of the need to protect the rights of victims even in the midst of a global pandemic. Beginning in February 2018, victim legal rights were expanded in Ohio’s Constitution after 83% of voters passed Marsy’s Law.
Today, victims have the right to be notified of the release of their offender, as well as the right to participate in all public court proceedings. Crime Victim Services is now helping victims utilize telephone and video in order to participate in hearings. If Ohio’s prison system also reduces inmate numbers with releases, then the same victim rights to be informed and heard apply.
Although we are in odd procedural times for the justice process, the health, safety as well as the physical and emotional security of Ohioans are of the utmost importance. The rule of law still applies for victims and their rights. We are thankful that Allen County judges are locally taking all measures possible to ensure that the rights of victims continue to be upheld.
Crime Victim Services Staff Attorney/Court Advocacy Director