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Heather Warnken, Lydia Watts on helping Baltimore's crime victims

Heather Warnken_Lydia Watts_COMBO.png
(L-R) Heather Warnken directs UBalt Law's Center for Criminal Justice Reform; Lydia Watts is the executive director of University of MD, Baltimore's "Rebuild, Overcome and Rise" (ROAR) Center. (UBaltLaw/UMB photos)

Much of the conversation about crime tends to fixate on the perpetrators, and how — or even if — they are prosecuted. So much of the discussion about public safety is centered around getting criminals off the streets and incarcerated, to keep them away from the rest of us.

The victims of crimes are often left out of the conversation. Today on Midday, we are going to center them.

What do we owe victims of crime? What is our legal and moral obligation to people whose lives have been upended by violence?

Tom's guests today argue that not only is taking care of crime victims the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do as part of a strategy to reduce violence.

MurderVictimSymbol_Red_and_Black_Ribbon_credit 23USNRETE7, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.png
Murder Victim’s National Memorial Ribbon - The Red and Black ribbon was first designed in 1987 by Betty O'Donnell, parent of a murdered child and member of the Long Island, NY Chapter of the National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc. Red represents the violence in society, and the black symbolizes death and mourning. (image credit: 23USNRETE7, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

In the summer of 2021, the National Public Safety Partnership published a report that was focused on under-served survivors, particularly boys and men of color. The report assessed what services various agencies in the City of Baltimore were providing to survivors of violent crime, and how those services should be improved and expanded.

How best can cities like ours implement a trauma-informed approach that increases access to services for victims and promotes healing between communities of color and the police?

Heather Warnken is the Executive Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Reform at the University of Baltimore School of Law, and the lead author of the above-mentioned report by the National Public Safety Partnership.

Lydia Watts is the Executive Director of ROAR, “Rebuild, Overcome and Rise,” a victims services organization at the University of MD, Baltimore…

Heather Warnken and Lydia Watts join Tom on zoom. You are welcome to join us as well. Call: 410.662.8780; email: [email protected]; or Tweet us: @MiddayWYPR

Audio will be posted here later this afternoon.

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Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
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Rob is Midday's senior producer.