Missouri Department of Corrections holds resource fair for crime victims

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JEFFERSON CITY - Community members came out Saturday for the inaugural National Crime Victims' Rights Week Resource Fair which hosted resources that focused on crime prevention, safety and assistance services.

Kimberly Evans, the victim service coordinator for the Missouri Department of Corrections, said the fair is designed for people to know more about services that are available to victims of crimes.  

"Once victims are done going through the criminal justice system, it's kind of like everyone goes away and you're on your own, so our resources focus more on the follow-up after the process," she said.

Evan said she began planning for the event with community partners back in June 2018. 

"We put our grant application and we didn't get it, but we still went forward with putting together the event because we have such an awesome community," she said.

Evans said community partners donated the food, prize giveaways and gift baskets  at the event.

Maj. Aaron Bolinger with the Cole County Sheriff's Office said his agency helped prepare for the event.

"We hosted the candlelight vigil on Monday in our front parking lot, and we also handled some of the preparation in planning today's event at Memorial Park," he said.

Bolinger said events like these help promote positivity in the community.

"In law enforcement, so many times we deal with the negative things when we see people on their very worst day ever; it's good to highlight a lighter end of it," he said. 

Evans said she is ecstatic about the community's support for the event.

"We plan on trying to do this every year, and I'm pretty sure it'll get bigger and more people will know and come out," she said.