Krasner introduces new advisory panel for crime victims

Group will meet monthly to analyze gaps in justice process

Kristen Johanson
June 21, 2018 - 4:34 pm
Movita Johnson-Harrell will chair the Crime Victim's Advisory Committee.

Cherri Gregg | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has announced a new committee devoted to making changes in the criminal and legal system by streamlining policies to help crime victims, their families and witnesses cope.

The Crime Victims' Advisory Committee (CVAC) is a group of 20 people — some of whom are rape or abuse survivors, mothers of murdered children, or concerned citizens — who will meet each month to go through perceived gaps in the justice process.

"Something I am looking to come out of this is even training, citywide training for those who engage crime victims," said Movita Johnson-Harrell, victim services supervisor. 

Other problems worth noting, she said, are how death notifications are handled and how prosecutors communicate the legal process.

"I have heard that [assistant] district attorneys have not contacted the person prior to court," she added. "They will meet them in court and then they will take it from there."

Sophie Heng, who was abused by her partner, hopes to be a voice for the voiceless.

"I was held hostage in my own home. He choked me, punched me and bit me," said Heng, who is part of the committee. "Sometimes this justice system fails to protect us on all levels."

Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson is also on the panel.

The group will meet each month to discuss different topics.