In 1981, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Every year since, the United States has recognized one week in April as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to bring awareness to issues that victims of crime face.
County Attorney Polk began prosecuting criminals before victims had rights. In 1990, Arizona passed our Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights; prior to that year, victims did not even have the right to be in the courtroom for the trial and had to subject themselves to pre-trial interviews by defense attorneys! The state of Arizona’s sentencing code prior to 1993 was also a travesty. Criminals sentenced to prison could get out after serving only half of their sentence! In 1993, Arizona passed Truth-in-Sentencing laws.
Since then, our system ensures that a convicted criminal serves at least 85% of the sentence, removing uncertainty about the actual length of time served.