More Than 300 Crime Survivors from Across the State Call for Reforms and Hold a Vigil in Memory of Loved Ones
Survivors and Elected Officials Advocate for Victims Rights, Reforms to Help End Cycles of Crime
LANSING, Mich. – Hundreds of crime survivors and families of murdered Michiganders crowded the state capitol today to urge lawmakers to expand support for crime victims and make communities safer. Crime survivors were joined by elected officials at Survivors Speak Michigan – an annual event hosted by Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ) – with families holding photos of murdered loved ones and advocating for public safety reforms.
Michigan members of CSSJ are leading the fight for historic safety reforms in the state. Local crime survivors are on the verge of a major win. Next week, the Senate floor will vote on House Bills 4674-4675, which increases support for crime victims by allowing all victims in need to access victim compensation, expanding victim compensation coverage to account for actual costs resulting from victimization, and increases how much time crime victims have to apply for help. The legislation, which is part of the Safer Michigan Act package of public safety bills, is supported by members of the business and faith communities, as well as crime survivors throughout the state.
“Healing can feel like an uphill battle, and we must do all we can to support survivors every step of the way,” said Shari Ware, domestic violence survivor and member of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. “Communities most harmed by crime must be given resources so they have a fighting chance at a better future.”
In an emotional press conference and vigil, Shari Ware and other survivors with CSSJ called for the passage of bipartisan bills to:
- Help crime victims access victim compensation
- Expand victim compensation coverage, allowing more time for victims to apply
- Create earned productivity credits for incarcerated people after completing job and re-entry training
- Prepare incarcerated people to rejoin the workforce and succeed, while holding them accountable
“When we prioritize resources like victims’ compensation, productivity credits, and rehabilitation we see results in our communities,” said Aswad Thomas, gun violence survivor and national director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. “Survivors in communities most impacted by violence have historically been left out of public safety conversations, and we’re here to change that.”
ABOUT CRIME SURVIVORS FOR SAFETY AND JUSTICE
Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice is a national network of crime survivors, including nearly 4,000 members across Michigan, joining together to create healing communities and shape public safety policy. With over 90,000 members and growing, including chapters and leaders across the country, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice is building a movement to promote public safety policies that help the people and communities most harmed by violence. The organization is a flagship project of Alliance for Safety and Justice.
For more information, visit: https://cssj.org/.
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