By: Nikki Fedorko
On January 14, I toured Fayette Regional Juvenile Detention Center (FRJDC). Juvenile detention centers are used to temporarily house youth who pose either a “high risk” of re-offending before trial, or not reappearing for their next court date. Detention centers also hold children who have received a sentence to incarceration. FRJDC can hold up to a maximum of 60 children and can house juveniles from 10 surrounding counties.
The facility holds “low level” offenders; FRJDC is also considered a “maximum” security facility. But, individuals who commit violent crimes like robbery, rape, and murder are typically held in a different pod than the “low level” offenders.
By Anika Gooch
There are several reasons why the 2015 Super Bowl will be the game to watch. Not only could Tom Brady potentially tie Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana for most Super Bowl wins, but the Seattle Seahawks, led by Russell Wilson, could become the 8th team in NFL history to win back to back Super Bowls. What else do you need to convince yourself that it is a must see event?
The National Football League has taken an active role in the fight against domestic violence with the No More campaign. One of the most powerful “No More” commercials will air during the first quarter of the game. The commercial will provide viewers a the opportunity to witness the destruction of a woman’s home as she disguises a 911 phone call as a pizza order.
Although each of the “No More” commercials have delivered powerful messages, the Super Bowl ad will be the most powerful yet and will resonate with audiences everywhere. I know I will be watching the game. Will you?
By: Anika Gooch
January 27, 2015 marked the 70th Anniversary of the Russian liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of most infamous Nazi death camps. An estimated 1.1 million Jews and 100,000 prisoners of war, gypsies and other minorities lost their lives from 1941 to 1944.
Auschwitz-Birkenau received its first inmates in 1941 and continued to do so until 1944. In November 1944, the Soviet Red Army began to approach Poland. In order to prevent the Russians from discovering any evidence of mass killings, the SS destroyed all written records, demolished several buildings, and evacuated 58,000 detainees. However, only 20,000 survived the death march to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Those too weak to walk were left behind. On January 27th, 1945, the 322nd Rifle Division of the Red Army arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau and found around 7,500 prisoners that had been left behind. The camp’s liberation received little press at the time, but the left a lasting effect on the thousands of lives that were saved that day. After the war, 15 percent of Auschwitz’s 6,500 staff were eventually convicted of war crimes.
Off the Beaten Path
By: Mary Houlihan
An offbeat adventure taken by our Director of Victim Services, Mary Lynn Houlihan
This weekend my husband and I set off on a year-long adventure to hike the Sheltowee Trace (ST). The Sheltowee Trace Trail stretches 319 miles from Rowan County, Kentucky to Big South Fork National Park in Tennessee. The Sheltowee Trace Association 2015 Hiker Challenge breaks the 319 mile hike into 20-30 mile portions which are hiked one weekend a month over the course of the year. Even though I have swollen knees and am sore all over, I am proud to have completed my first 25 miles (27 or so if you take a wrong turn like we did!) this past weekend in the snow.
The Sheltowee Trace was named after Daniel Boone who was given the Indian name of Sheltowee (meaning “Big Turtle). The Director of the Sheltowee Trace Association, Steve Barbour, tells us that the average age range of folks taking on this challenge is 45-65. So, if you want to get up close and personal with the beauty of Kentucky, check out this website and consider joining in one of their hiking challenges: www.sheltoweetrace.org . I will provide updates on our progress throughout the year.
My First Day in Circuit Court
Today was my first day as an intern at the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. I was able to observe the sentencing process in the Circuit Court with Judge Ishmael.
I was quite nervous at first, since I had never been in a court room before. After observing for a while, a few key elements stood out in my mind. The first being that for many of these offenders, this was not only the second or third offense, but their fourth or even fifth. I was very surprised by this at the time, but looking back, I know that I should not have been surprised at all. Many offenders imprisoned and released do end up committing another offense and are subsequently placed back in prison. This is a concept I understand theoretically, however, it is still hard for me to comprehend why an individual, after being released from prison, would ever act in a way that could get them sent back.
Another key element that stood out to me was the lengthy process by which the judge makes a final decision on what sentence will be carried out. While it did not take long for the judge to give some offenders a strong and timely sentence, others took a lot longer, accompanied by a lot of thinking and deliberation on the judge’s part to finally make a sentencing decision. I found this very interesting, because at the end of the day, the judge has the final say in what these offenders are sentenced to. Overall, my first day as an intern was very eventful, and time that I felt was well spent. I look forward to returning to the Circuit Court to observe future court proceedings.
My name is Dwayne Fuller. I’m from Louisville, Kentucky and I’m currently a senior majoring in integrated strategic communications at the University of Kentucky. I’m interested in working in public relations or crisis communications after graduation. In the future, I would like to open up my own public relations company for small businesses and those looking to get into the entertainment industry. From this internship, I hope to gain a better sense of the justice system and how it operates while getting the chance to work with the various attorneys.
Today, I had the privilege of observing a meeting between Mr. Ray and the Collision Reconstruction team of the Fayette County Police Department. A meeting of this nature occurs when a traffic collision happens and the end result is great bodily injury or death to someone involved in the collision.
This was a great learning experience for me to learn the background of how charges are brought against the driver or driver(s). I also learned how much goes into reconstructing the scene of a bad wreck. The Reconstruction team uses math and science to reconstruct these accidents. I found it interesting that they will reconstruct a scene using the same lunar (moon) cycle if the accident happens at night.
My advice is to NEVER drink and drive or drive under the influence of drugs because you could injure yourself or someone else and be charged criminally. It is not worth it!
Today I was invited to watch what takes place during the pretrial conference. I was able to sit in two conferences with Traci and Alex. They both were different in nature but, both prosecutors knew the law in and out. They made sure the charge or charges against the defendant met the definitions of the crime. I learned a lot from them in a short period of time. You can read about the process all day in textbooks but, it is nothing like the experience.