Millions of crimes are committed each year, leaving victims shaken or injured. This week is National Crime Victims Rights Week.
The goal is to help raise awareness about victim’s rights. In Marquette County, the prosecutor’s office is constantly working for and with victims to let their voices be heard. Maintaining the victims’ safety is important, but it is also important to let victims know they have a voice.
Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese started his career as a prosecutor when victims rights were starting. He said he has been able to see the transition from when victims had a small voice in the system, to now where victims are integrated all throughout the criminal process. Allowing victims to be integrated in the criminal gives them a chance to understand what is happening in their case at any given time.
Each victim, by law, is allowed to give his or her thoughts and concerns to the prosecuting office, and what they would like to see done with the case.
“No matter who you are, what type of crime it is, when you’ve been victimized by a crime, if affects you differently,” Wiese said. “We try to recognized that. We try to make sure they know what their rights are, and basically in a nutshell every victim has a right to have input with the prosecuting attorney throughout the whole case.”
National Crime Victims Rights Week was first established in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan.