DJJ Dedicates "Memory Garden" in Honor of Victims' Rights Week
Aiken, SC – The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and the City of Aiken, in observance of National Victims’ Rights Week, held a press conference on Friday, April 8, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. to dedicate the newly landscaped “Memory Garden” in Eustis Park to victims’ of crime in South Carolina. Eustis Park is located at 1001 Edgefield Avenue.
The press conference was held at the “Memory Garden” in Eustis Park at 1001 Edgefield Avenue. The garden is a beautiful and peaceful setting for mediating or for remembering those who have been impacted by crime. A commemorative marker was placed in the park to honor crime victims.
The new garden is being landscaped through the generous donations of various community partners. The garden is an added focus for Eustis Park and the surrounding community. This year’s Victims’ Rights Week in South Carolina focused attention on "Reshaping the Future and Honoring the Past.”
Joy Batchelor, a mother whose three sons were killed in a traffic accident, was the featured speaker. The boys’ drunken father allowed one of his sons, who were unlicensed and drunk, to drive. The boy crashed into an oncoming car and died at the scene. His two brothers died a short time later. Ms. Batchelor talked about her loss.
Don Wells, Aiken’s Mayor Pro-Temp, spoke on behalf of the City of Aiken.
Angela Key, Victim/Witness Assistance Program Coordinator for the 2nd Judicial Circuit, also spoke.
The justice system has a responsibility to serve crime victims. DJJ annually measures it accountability to victims by conducting a survey to determine victim satisfaction. In May 2010,
400 crime victims across South Carolina were surveyed to determine their level of satisfaction with the juvenile justice system. Victims were asked to rate their overall experience with the system. Nearly 70% percent of the victims surveyed rated their satisfaction at a five (on a scale of 1-most negative to 5-most positive).
DJJ’s statewide Victim Services Program (VSP) was established in 1997. Surleaner Lakin Smith serves as the statewide manager for the program that provides information and assistance to victims affected by juvenile crime. The program runs a toll-free Victims’ Assistance Hotline at (888) 224-6165.
South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice
4900 Broad River Road
Columbia SC, 29212-3552
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The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age. THE FOLLOWING OFFICES HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED TO HANDLE INQUIRIES REGARDING THE NONDISCRIMINATON POLICIES: Title IX -- Inspector General's Office -- 803-896-9595 Title II & 504 -- Special Education Office -- 803-896-8484.