The Open Philanthropy Project awarded a grant of $112,613 to Justice Solutions to support an 18-month project by Anne Seymour, whom Open Philanthropy views as a prominent and well-connected victims’ rights advocate who is supportive of criminal justice reform. The Open Philanthropy Project intends this grant to enable her to build relationships and increase communication between the fields of victims’ rights and criminal justice reform, one of its focus areas. This grant will cover Ms. Seymour’s time, sub-grants to research institutions, a videographer, project support staff, and travel costs.
The project aims to assess the status of victims’ rights to dignity and respect, which are included in statutes and constitutions in many states but are not defined in most of these states. The project will consist of research on existing statutory and constitutional language; meta-analysis of existing research on what factors affect the fair treatment of victims; and surveys, interviews, and roundtables to learn the views of victims, law enforcement and other stakeholders on this issue. Ms. Seymour aims to create a national dialogue around what constitutes dignified and respectful treatment of victims, which she then plans to use in advocacy with law enforcement to encourage reforms. She plans to create a website that will feature the products of her research, including interviews and quotes regarding victims’ needs.