Suggested Events To Promote
a New Directions
Timing of the release
of New Directions Task Force findings and recommendations is a
critical element that should be explored by organizers of the Task Force
so that the findings are well received by both the public and the media.
Task Force members may wish to consider releasing their findings and recommendations
to coincide with the schedule of one or more victim-related weeks held
throughout the year. For example, the release of New Directions
Task Force findings and recommendations can be released during National
Crime Victims' Rights Week in April or during Domestic Violence Awareness
Month in October. A Commemorative Calendar with other possible victim/crime-related
days, weeks, and months can be found at the end of this section.
forums have been used to bring together a variety of individuals who share
a common interest, issue, or concern. For instance, a community forum
using New Directions as its planning guide is one way a community
can improve communications among its citizens and city, county, State,
Tribal, and military leaders about individual and community crime and
victimization. The success of a community forum depends upon collaborative
sponsorship that reflects the interests of all key stakeholders in justice.
A cross-agency planning committee also will ensure that the workload is
shared to implement the New Directions Community Forum. Consider
teaming with other allied victim service professionals, business leaders,
nonprofit advocacy groups, and other interested community partners to
host the forum.
The following planning
steps address logistical issues that should be considered when planning
a New Directions Community Forum.
One: Incorporating New Directions into the Community Forum
- Review the New Directions
from the Field: Victims' Rights and Services for the 21st Century Report,
Implementation Guide, and its companion New Directions videotape
to determine an appropriate community agenda and central theme for discussion/presentation
during the forum.
- Once a central theme has been
identified, consideration should be given to the replication and distribution
of appropriate resources found in this Implementation Guide to
increase public awareness of the forum's chosen issue or concern. For
example, if the forum is being held to review local law enforcement's
response to crime victims, it would be appropriate to copy and distribute
the law enforcement pocket cards found in the Camera-Ready
Resources section or the law enforcement-specific recommendations
found in the Master List of New Directions
Recommendations section to all forum attendees.
Two: Determining the Format
formats should allow for questions from the audience either during or
at the conclusion of the presentation.
A sample New Directions
Community Forum might include:
A panel discussion by community officials, victim service
program providers, and crime victims about the community's concerns
relevant to crime and victimization, and how New Directions'
five global challenges might be incorporated into existing programs
and services to improve the community's overall response to crime victims.
(A listing of the five global challenges can be found in the Global
Strategies for Implementation section of this Guide,
along with suggested strategies for action.)
Directions Task Force Panel:
A panel discussion by members of community or statewide New Directions
Task Forces to release findings for community implementation of New
Directions Videotape Review:
A screening of the 18-minute companion videotape to the New Directions
publication, incorporating "stop" and "start" points during the viewing
to allow for panel and audience discussion of key points, and how its
contents can be applied to enhance the community's awareness of victim-related
issues. (Suggested key questions for the videotape discussion can
be found in the New Directions Videotape discussion
When selecting a moderator for any of the suggested New Directions
Community Forum formats, consideration should be given to selecting someone
who is both knowledgeable about victim rights and services, and is comfortable
speaking in front of large audiences. Suggested moderators could include:
a crime victim, justice system officials, elected officials, or a chairperson
of a victim-related task force or advisory group.
Three: Who Should Be Invited?
Community Forum attendees might
- Crime victims and victim service
- Elected local officials.
- Representatives of local print
and broadcast media.
- Representatives of the criminal
justice continuum, i.e., law enforcement, prosecutorial, judicial, corrections,
and court administrative representatives.
- Citizen action civic groups.
- Educators and academia.
- Medical and mental health practitioners.
- Religious and spiritual leaders.
- Representatives from the business
- Representatives of philanthropic
New Directions Community
Forum organizers also may wish to consider additional methods to increase
participation among community members who may wish to attend. These additional
methods may include:
- Providing onsite, live participation
via the Internet.
- Partnering with a local radio
talk show to air the forum and allow for viewer listening call-in response.
- Asking a local cable access
channel to air the forum live and allow for viewer call-in response.
- Linking multiple sites together
utilizing compressed video or other satellite technologies.
Four: Selecting a Location to Hold the Community Forum
An appropriate location to convene
the Community Forum might include a:
- School or hospital auditorium.
- Municipal or county courthouse.
- Local church or synagogue.
- Public library.
- Civic auditorium.
Five: Selecting a Date for the Community Forum
Consideration should be given to
holding the Community Forum in conjunction with a national public safety
and victim awareness commemorative event to increase media attention and
garner public support. Sponsors can join local advocacy organizations
in a celebration of a victim/criminal justice-related commemorative event.
For example, consider co-hosting the forum with local victim assistance
programs during National Crime Victims' Rights Week or local domestic
violence programs and shelters during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Commemorative weeks and months for 2000 include:
of Some National Crime-Related Commemorative Events
National Child Abuse Prevention Month
National Sexual Assault Awareness Month
National Crime Victims' Rights Week
National Law Day
National Correctional Officers Week
National SAFE KIDS Week
National Police Week
National Missing Children's Day
National Night Out
Crime Prevention Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
American's Safe Schools Week
Annual Week Without Violence
National Red Ribbon Week
Ninth Annual Speak Out
National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Month
Six: Concluding the New Directions Community Forum
When organizing the New Directions
Community Forum, consideration should be given to the forum's conclusion,
- Who will make closing remarks
indicating the conclusion of the forum? (Suggested speakers might include
the moderator, a criminal justice official, or elected official.)
- Will there be a process to continue
the study of ongoing concerns or issues, and/or the implementation of
solutions made by panel members or members of the general audience to
address specific issues or concerns discussed during the forum? Which
person or agency will be assigned this responsibility?
- How can the sponsors challenge
the participants to take individual and collective action to improve
victims' rights and services?
- How will followup information
be shared with the group in the future?
- Who will thank panel and audience
members for their participation?
|New Directions from the
Victims' Rights and Services for the 21st Century