During our conversation about the walk, Community Resource Officer Danitta Reed mentioned several programs administered through the Mississippi Attorney General’s office. The information about those programs is listed below. Should you have any questions about these programs, please visit the AG’s website at http://www.ago.state.ms.us/ or contact the office by telephone at 601-359-6766.
Crime Prevention and Victim Services DivisionCrime Prevention and Victim Services encompasses Victim Assistance, Victim Compensation, and Youth Services. Our mission has been expanded under the leadership of Attorney General Jim Hood to focus on avenues which promote crime prevention measures for the safety of the citizens of Mississippi and provide services for victims of crime.
Victim AssistanceThe Victim Assistance Program serves as the single point of contact for crime victims, provides a toll free information and referral line, assists with completion of financial aid applications, connects victims to support groups, educates law enforcement on victim rights and services, assists victims with invoking their rights and obtaining case and offender status and provides immediate notification to victims and survivors who have cases pending before the Mississippi Court of Appeals and the Mississippi Supreme Court. The Victim Assistance Program emphasis is providing assistance to individuals who live in rural areas where local victim services are not available.
Victim CompensationThe Crime Victim Compensation Program provides financial assistance to victims of crime and their family members. The goal of the division is to provide a method of compensating and assisting those persons who are innocent victims of criminal acts and who suffer bodily injury or death. In addition, the Division provides information referrals and advocacy outreach programs. Victim Compensation operates with revenue derived from fees, fines and assessments imposed on criminals, court ordered restitution and federal grants. Applicants can apply for reimbursement which may include lost wages, mental health and medical treatment and funeral expenses.
Youth ServicesThe Office of the Attorney General is dedicated to improving the lives of Mississippi’s youth. The Youth Services Program is committed to ensuring the safety and well being of each child. Prevention efforts continue to reduce juvenile delinquency, truancy, exploitation and child abuse through the creation and promotion of after school programs, mentoring initiatives and training seminars. This office has partnered with many state agencies, as well as, non profit organizations to expand the services available to children in need. The Office of the Attorney General is involved in many youth programs. Some of those include: Youth Patrols Youth Patrols are student organizations empowered to assist school administrators in preventing and reporting crime on school campuses. Youth Patrols are supervised by designated faculty. Students patrol the schools in pairs and report potential problems or trespassers via two-way radios; however, students do not intervene. Participating schools receive two-way radios, identifying arm bands, training manuals and posters. This is a collaborative effort between the Office of the Attorney General, Mississippi Crime Stoppers, and the Mississippi Department of Education. For more information you may contact our office at 601-359-4207. Champions for Children Champions for Children, formerly known as the Mississippi Mentoring Network, is a non profit organization that awards competitive scholarships to high school seniors who demonstrate a commitment to improving the lives of children in their communities by mentoring a minimum of 100 hours. These seniors also participate in an essay contest and fulfill other requirements. Winners of the scholarships are evaluated on their mentoring experience, the submitted essay, and letters of support they provide. APPLICATION available here.
Officer Reed also wanted to spotlight Crime Stoppers of Central Mississippi. Those people who are not comfortable talking to police directly about any criminal activity can pick up the phone and call Crime Stoppers. Operators at Crime Stoppers are, much like the police, on duty 24 hours a day and you never have to give your identity. If the information you give to Crime Stoppers leads to an arrest, you could be considered for a cash reward of up to $1,200.00. Officer Reed did want to stress that anyone who calls the Vicksburg Police Department, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department or E-911, has the right to have their identity protected, but understands that there may be some people who are more comfortable calling organizations like Crime Stoppers to divulge information. The toll-free number to Crime Stoppers of Central Mississippi is 1-888-827-4637 (1-888-8-CRIMES).]]]]> ]]>