Victims: Hope and Healing

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A two-day conference focuses on helping victims and preventing crime.

"We do this to cover all kinds of crime and provide some information for the people constantly dealing with it," said Ginger Grisson Stevens of Wesley House, which sponsors the Stop the Violence Workshop each year.

With help from a grant, Wesley House has brought in renowned speakers from across the country.

"Most rapists were sexually molested as children, so early intervention can be prevention," said Dr. Don Cabana, a criminal justice professor at the University of Southern Mississippi and former warden at Parchman State Prison.

The message for law enforcement, district attorneys and other government officials is don't let the victim be victimized again, this time by the criminal justice system.

Judge Ted Poe of Houston, Texas is known for innovative sentencing designed to help victims cope.

"We make people make public apologies," said Poe. "Sometimes being publicly embarrassed is the only way to change attitudes."

The conference continues Friday at Central United Methodist Church in Meridian. The public is invited.