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Suggested Events To Promote New Directions

Conducting a New Directions
Plenary Session

This Implementation Guide provides several tools for creating a dynamic conference plenary session to introduce New Directions to a wide variety of audiences. For example, in the Getting the Word Out About New Directions section of the Guide, a sample speech and companion talking points are provided to help speakers prepare a New Directions oral presentation. In the section entitled Camera-Ready Resources, corresponding overhead transparencies can be found to visually augment the speech; these overheads can be used as a group or as individual visual aids to emphasize specific topics for the presentation. Included in this Guide is an 18-minute New Directions videotape, which also serves as a valuable tool to build audience interest in New Directions. To further stimulate discussion about issues highlighted in the video, a companion video discussion guide has been developed and is enclosed in this Guide.

Organization of Plenary Session

New Directions presents a comprehensive communitywide response to crime victims. A New Directions plenary session brings all key stakeholders to the table to discuss a community's current response to victims' rights and services. New Directions serves as a template for program assessment, planning, and implementation. A panel of speakers can provide a diverse and interesting response to the many recommendations presented in New Directions. One of the most powerful ways of presenting a plenary session about New Directions is to invite a representative from each justice agency in the community to sit on the panel. Each panelist can provide a brief overview of the most important recommendations in New Directions. Crime victims and community victim service providers also should be represented on the panel to ensure that the voices of victims are strongly heard!

Suggested Speakers

Panel Moderator: Consider a justice system official, elected official, or a chairperson of a victim-related task force or advisory group to serve as the moderator.

Five or Six Panelists: Consider justice system officials and allied professionals, victim service providers, and crime victims for panelists.

Sample Agenda for Plenary Session
  • Opening Presentation: Introduce panel and topic. The New Directions sample speech, talking points, and overhead transparencies contained in this Guide provide moderators with the resources they need to plan and conduct the plenary session.

  • Play New Directions Videotape (Refer to the videotape discussion guide for an overview of the video and pertinent discussion points and questions.)

  • Ask each panel member to offer a brief reaction to the video and discuss the key recommendations contained in New Directions that affect his or her work/profession/community. Note: It is important to provide speakers with a copy of their pertinent section/ chapter of New Directions in advance in order for the speaker to select salient points and recommendations to focus the discussion. Be sure to limit each speaker to no more than 10 minutes.

  • Another interesting way to present the plenary session is to have panelists react to each of the five global challenges presented in New Directions. In other words, introduce the first global challenge and then ask the panelists to respond. This provides for a more lively panel presentation because each panelist has several opportunities to react, rather than just one opportunity. (An overview of the five global challenges can be found in two sections of this Guide: Global Strategies for Implementation and Camera-Ready Resources, Overheads.)

Audience Interaction: Be sure to save time for questions from the audience. The moderator should ask the members of the panel to repeat the question for clarification.

Recording the Session: Many insightful ideas and critical issues can be raised in this type of plenary session that can assist future planning, implementation, and advocacy efforts. It is important to record the session for future reference by the use of videotape, audiotape, or written transcription. When employing any type of recording device it is critical to provide advance notice to all speakers and to receive written approval for the use of such equipment. In addition, at the beginning of the session, audience members should be informed if the session will be recorded.

Closing: In closing, challenge the audience to take action in their community/ profession/agency to begin to implement the vision and recommendations of New Directions.


New Directions from the Field: Victims' Rights and Services for the 21st Century
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