Skip to content

June 2021 | Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy Protecting and Serving Victims — Their Way, Not Ours


As a prosecutor and a sheriff, we have seen countless and compelling moments where the best of our work has translated into positive victim support in the aftermath of harm. But we have also witnessed how the system fails victims. We recognize that the limitations of traditional tools at our disposal and the framework of our institutions can exasperate victims in their attempts to navigate the criminal justice system. Those experiences guide us in identifying problems and recommending important next steps for practitioners in the pursuit of justice, safety, and healing for all victims.


In this paper, we describe the need for law enforcement and prosecutors to better serve victims. This paper is intended to be a compilation of lessons learned, best practices examined, and recommendations for practitioners.

Experts - Melissa Nelson
Melissa Nelson Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit
Experts - Kevin Thom-min
Melissa Nelson and Kevin Thom on Serving Victims and Reimagining Justice

In this video, Melissa Nelson and Kevin Thom describe system failures and the need for law enforcement and prosecutors to better serve victims.

Recommendations for Law Enforcement and Prosecutors

icons - education

1. Provide training and develop policies focused on the treatment of victims in law enforcement and prosecutors’ offices.

icons - gavel

2. Make internal changes to law enforcement and prosecutors’ offices to facilitate best practices to support victims

icons - ribbon

3. Offer comprehensive victim options and services

icons - community

5. Ensure that victim services are widely accessible, and expand outreach and impact of services, where gaps or opportunities exist

icons - stats

5. Create metrics to track interactions with victims

icons - star

6. Implement restorative justice practices in the aftermath of harm

icons - strength

7. Ensure victims have a seat at the table in criminal justice policy discussions

Read the Full Paper