VOCAL chapter plans vigil for crime victims

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2003

The Shelby County chapter of VOCAL (victims of crime and leniency) will hold its annual candlelight vigil on Monday, April 7 at 7 p.m. at the Shelby County Courthouse.

The vigil will be held to remember and honor victims of crime.

The group will also hold a golf tournament on April 26 at the &uot;Big M&uot; Golf Course on Highway 42 in Calera.

According to the Shelby County chapter, VOCAL is a nonprofit organization established for the purpose of improving the quality of justice for victims of crime. The major focus of the local chapter is to provide support for victims of crime and in the case of a victim who was murdered, for the family of the victim.

Members attend court proceedings and parole hearings to demonstrate support for victims and their families and provide insight into how the courts operate and refer victims to needed resources.

The second purpose of local VOCAL chapters is to meet to educate the community on issues concerning the criminal justice system and victims’ rights.

The third purpose is to support legislation which promotes the rights of victims of crime and their families. Legislation supported or proposed by VOCAL include the Courtroom Attendance Act, the Parole Notification Bill, Restitution As A Final Judgment, the Victim Compensation Act and the Stalking Law.

During the past year, the Shelby County chapter of VOCAL has provided financial support to victims of crime and their families. Also, chapter members have attended court proceedings and parole hearings and have accompanied family members of victims to meetings with the district attorneys prosecuting their cases.

In addition, a member of the chapter has spoken to new State Trooper trainees regarding the importance of their role in supporting victims’ rights and has completed Victim Service Officer Training. Members have spent many hours doing volunteer work for the State Chapter.

Tee time for the VOCAL Golf Tournament on Saturday, April 26 will be at 8 a.m. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. until. The format for the golf tournament will be a two-man scramble and the cost is $35 per person.

Prizes will be awarded. And hole sponsorship is available at $50 and up.

Tax deductible contributions can be sent to the Shelby County Chapter of VOCAL at P.O. Box 32, Columbiana, AL 35051.

According to the Shelby County Chapter, &uot;Fighting crime and leniency through improved legislation and providing assistance to victims of crimes requires the joint effort of victims and non-victims alike. The Shelby County Chapter of

VOCAL intends to be a strong voice for the victim

and your support will be greatly appreciated.&uot;