Trees are being planted in eight communities across Tennessee this week to recognize and honor victims of crime. The Tennessee Board of Parole, the Department of Correction and TRICOR are partnering to plan the events, which will also honor victim advocates during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The event for Hamilton and surrounding counties took place this morning.
“Assisting crime victims in understanding and navigating the parole process is a vital part of our work,” said Board Chairman Richard Montgomery. “These events highlight the importance of victim impact in the criminal justice process.”
Department of Correction Commissioner Derrick Schofield agreed. “Both the Board and TDOC place a strong emphasis on victim services,” he said. “Maintaining safe communities is a core value for the department, and we are pleased to partner with the Board and with TRICOR to demonstrate our joint concern for crime victims.”
Each tree planted includes a marker to remind the public that it was planted in honor of crime victims. “TRICOR makes sure each tree is marked,” said Chief Executive Officer Patricia Weiland. “These events are important, and we are honored to be a full sponsor in hosting them.”
The keynote speaker for the event was Jerry Redman, Managing Senior Partner of Second Life of Chattanooga and Southeast Tennessee. Redman was also honored with the regional Voice for Victims Award for 2014. Redman and Second Life work to provide services to victims of this crime -- a modern-day form of slavery where people profit from the control the our state. Victims of this crime need services like counseling, treatment, housing and healthcare. Second Life concentrates on providing these services in order to give victims of human trafficking a second chance.
Additional tree planting events for this week are taking place in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Bristol, Jackson, Clarksville and Murfreesboro.