Victims were rememberd during a National Crime Victims’ Right Week event held last Tuesday at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center (W.E.R.D.C.C.) in Vandalia.
Jessica Schnerre was this year’s guest speaker, who is from “Avenues. Domestic Violence” in Hannibal.
She said she had been in the position for 10 years.
Schnerre told about her younger days living in a home where she and her brother were physically and sexually abused. She said they were hungry and police were at her home daily.
As she got older, she moved into the foster care system and started getting into trouble with stealing, etc.
She talked about her son, who is having success singing.
Schnerre noted the importance of God in her life and how He has helped her in her life outside of prison walls.
She talked about her life as a criminal to eventually working as a police officer in Bowling Green.
She said she’s owned two homes and gave Jesus credit for being able to make many accomplishments in spite of her background.
CCM II Restorative Justice Coordinator Patricia Stathem said the word “awesome” has been on her mind when talking during her presentation.
She said there were 58,000 hours in the restorative justice program last year.
Offenders made 4,000 items, took care of a garden, and also donated food items.
Sixty-four different places were donated to last year.
Offender Jamie Waters presented the Offender Impact Statement.
She has been serving time for first degree robbery since 2004.
Waters talked of how she started to make a change in her life two years ago, eventually leading to her work through the restorative justice program.
“Knowing that I touch lives of someone less fortunate is the most rewarding feeling than I’ve felt before,” she said as items from the program are donated to nursing homes, shelters, hospitals, and a number of other locations.
Victim Advocate Tina Gish received a check on behalf of the NAACP.
Warden Angela Mesmer made a few remarks and noted how the many items on display were going to be donated.
Bill Morgan (FUM) gave the closing remarks on victims and who they are.
He noted that victims are not just who the crime was done to, but it is the offender’s family, community, and the world.
He also read a story that ended with the phrase “No More Victims.”
The W.E.R.D.C.C. Honor Guard opened the event with the presentation of the colors. They also retrieved the colors at the end of the program.
Offender Tricia Carter was the “Mistress of Ceremony.”
After Chaplain Tommy Barnhart led with a brief prayer, a video was shown to those in attendance that was focused on the victims of violence.
Deputy Warden Tom Dunn recognized several staff members who are a part of the program.
Those recognized include Paula Fletcher (CCM II/ICVC Coordinator) and Patricia Stathem (CCM II/Restorative Justice Coordinator).
ICVC Staff Facilitators and CCM II’s include Kirk McBride, Erin Senor, Trina Hays, Jennifer Ward, and Deborah Barrett.
The ICVC Offender Co-Facilitators include Mistie Vance, Danielle Geekie, Tricia Carter, Amy Huff, Amy Lawrence, Linda Williams, and Lynn Brown.
There are 21 Restorative Justice Organization Offenders.