Long waits and poor communication for victims in state criminal justice system

Members of the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission listen to victim complaints.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) The Alaska Criminal Justice Commission has been traveling the state, listening to victims of crime on how they can improve the system. Sunday they came to Anchorage and heard many of the same complaints they’ve heard elsewhere.

One speaker recalled a speedy trial in Texas.

“There for trial on Monday morning,” He said. “Closing arguments were Thursday. Sentenced to 35 years in jail on Friday."

And compared it to another attendee, who has been in the court system for six years, waiting for a trial.

It's just one complaint heard before the commission as they work to improve the justice system with victim feedback.

Many complained about a lack of communication or information.

“I didn't know who to talk to, and how to reach out over this situation,” said one attendee. “I didn't have the resources that I have now, but I have gone out of my way to research these things."

All valuable feedback the commission intends to use to create a better environment for victims of crime.

“We're trying to look at what we could do better and making sure that they have access to the services that they need,” says Justice System Commissioner Brenda Stanfill. “That they understand how the process works, and we're hearing a lot about speedy trials and the delays of those. A lot of common themes throughout Alaska."

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