Crime survivors launch #HealTheVote justice reform effort

A Florida organization, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, will rally survivors of violent crime to vote and reach out to elected officials involving improvements to the justice system. The rare bipartisan get-out-the-vote effort aims to put victims front and center with a movement around reform.

Both Republican Senate President-Designate Wilton Simpson and Democratic Sen.-elect Shevrin Jones announced their involvement in the #HealTheVote Florida initiative.

“If you’re not voting, you’re not giving yourself the opportunities you deserve,” said Simpson. “Citizens through the last two centuries have died fighting for these rights that we could go cast a vote and pick our leadership. It’s one of the most important things you’ll ever do as an American.”

Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, a project of the Alliance for Safety and Justice, plans to encourage 14,000 survivors of violence to vote and lobby leaders about ways to fund better victim services and trauma recovery, while also pursuing strategies of prevention, rehabilitation. Mental health treatment, restorative justice and other safety programs.

In Florida, some 67% of citizens have suffered a traumatic experience at the hands of violent crime. But CSSJ leaders say just 16% of those felt supported by the criminal justice system.

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