Editor: W. Patrick Tandy
Crime Victims' Resource Center
Opens Office in Baltimore City
By Tom Breihan
On March 1,
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy stood in front of a quilt
commemorating the dead victims of violent crime to announce the formation
satellite office of the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center (MCVRC).
MCVRC Executive Director Russell P. Butler and Founder and Former Director
Roberta Roper also spoke at the press conference, which was held in what
is normally the victim witness waiting room of Baltimore’s Mitchell
The new office is
located a block and a half from the courthouse, at 218 East Lexington
Street, Suite 401.
Center will offer Baltimore crime victims such services as support groups,
court accompaniment, pro bono legal services, information and assistance
with victims’ rights, referrals for therapeutic counseling, faith-based
referrals, VINE registration and speakers.
Roper, an advocate
and activist for crime victims, founded the Stephanie Roper Committee and
Foundation (which later became MCVRC), in 1982 after the murder of her
daughter. She also successfully pushed for an amendment to the Maryland
State Constitution for crime victims’ rights in 1994. Roper pointed out
that 40 percent of crime in Maryland
takes place in Baltimore City. “Currently we’re helping about four new
victims per day,” she said. “We expect that to increase.”
“We think [the new
office] will increase public confidence in the justice system,” she added.
Butler called the
new satellite office “a very important next step in the advancement of the
Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center.”
“We believe we are
reflecting our nation’s American values of liberty and justice for all,”
Neil Quinter, a member of the Resource Center’s pro bono panel, also spoke
at the press conference, as did Theresa Baker, whose son was murdered in
1991. “It was one thing to become a victim, but to be victimized by the
justice system was completely different,” said Baker, who was informed of
the release of her son’s killer from prison just before the release took
“[The MCVRC] helped
me in a big way to make sense out of this,” she added.
The Resource Center
will raise funds for crime victims in need of help when it holds the
Fourth Annual 5K Victims’ Fund Run and Walk on April 17 in Baltimore.