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Effler Said Victims Rights Begin With Communication

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Effler Said Victims Rights Begin With Communication

Fentress County District Attorney Jared Effler will bring together community members, victims rights advocates and those inside the legal system to commemorate National Crime Victims Right Week.

Effler said this week’s annual event began under President Ronald Reagan as a way to ensure that the voices of the victim are not lost in the legal system. Effler said his team tries to ensure accountability for victims.

“We have to do the best we can as prosecutors to hold the offender accountable,” Effler said. “And that begins many times with listening to what the victims want in a particular case. While they cannot dictate the outcome of the case, it’s important for prosecutors, I believe, to listen to their concerns and try as best we can to meet those.”

Effler will host Crime Victims Walks this week in each of the communities he serves. The Fentress County walk will take place Thursday at 9am at Allardt First Baptist Church.

“We will have a short walk there at the church, but we will have a guest speaker,” Effler said. “We always have a guest speaker at each of our walks, someone who is either a representative of a crime victim or a crime victim themselves, so that we never lose that perspective. I think it’s important for us to not only honor crime victims, but to listen to what they have to say on how we can improve how the criminal justice system treats them.”

While sometimes victims express frustration with how the justice system works and the penalties that can be applied, Effler said it’s important every day to communicate to the family and friends of those impacted.

“We deal with that on a daily basis and as we talk to victims, it’s important for us to tell them that what we are explaining to them about the criminal justice system doesn’t necessarily mean that we are agreeing with them,” Effler said. “We have to be honest with them and straightforward and let them know the bad and also the good parts of their case as they’re navigating the system.”

Effler serves Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott & Union Counties.


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