Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) announced today that his Resolution designating March 2009 as National Criminal Justice Month unanimously passed the US House of Representatives, 415-0.
H. Res. 45, encourages community leaders and organizations to educate and to promote discussion on the causes and consequences of crime, as well as how to prevent and respond to crime. It also provides an opportunity to recognize and applaud the efforts of law enforcement officials, judges, court staff, and the many probation officers who work with offenders to help them reintegrate into the community.
As a former prosecutor and judge, I have been honored to be involved in the criminal justice system for 30 years, said Poe. These brave and dedicated American public servants work every day to make our country safe for ourselves and our families. It is our hope that National Criminal Justice Month encourages community leaders and organizations to educate and to promote discussion on the causes and consequences of crime, as well as how to prevent and respond to crime.
It is also important to recognize the gains that we have made in combating crime across the nation. Crime rates have dropped dramatically since the early 1990s, but, surprisingly, most Americans believe that the rate of crime is increasing. Passing this resolution should go a long way towards dispelling that myth.
Three million Americans are employed within the criminal justice system, seven million adults are on probation, parole, or imprisoned, and millions of Americans face the expensive and often painful aftermath of victimization. The Bureau of Justice Statistics recently concluded that 35% of Americans have little or no confidence in the criminal justice system.
Our nations criminal justice system impacts everyone, said Poe. As founder and co-chair of the Congressional Victims Rights Caucus, I believe that it is important to recognize that criminals are not the only ones affected by the criminal justice system. Victims are forced into the system and the impact on their lives by the experience is life-altering.
Congressman Poe is the founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Victims Rights Caucus. As a former criminal court judge and prosecutor for over 30 years in Houston, Texas, Poe is recognized nationally for his creative sentencing of criminals and as a dedicated advocate for victims and children.