To remember and honor Mississippi’s crime victims, their families and loved ones, Attorney General Jim Hood hosted the 14th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, December 12.
Victims and survivors of violent crimes were invited to place an ornament on the Christmas tree in the Sillers Building lobby to recognize the personal struggles associated with violence. The event is organized by General Hood’s Bureau of Victim Assistance on behalf of victims of crime and the surviving family members of homicide victims.
“Everyone who is hurting needs a kind word and to know they are not alone, especially during the holidays. This time of year can be a painful reminder for victims, their families and those who have lost their loved ones to violent crimes.“This ceremony is just one way we can acknowledge the struggles of crime victims and those who have lost loved ones to an act of violence,” said Attorney General Hood.
Six hundred ornaments have been placed on the tree and wreaths on the windows.
The Bureau’s Victim Assistance Program assisted 1,268 victims of violent and non-violent crimes—almost triple the number of victims from 2015 The Victim Compensation Program paid out approx. $2.9 million in victim compensation benefits.
Since 2005, the Victim Compensation Program has distributed a total of $38,135,862.82 in victim compensation benefits