Victims and advocates affected by crime in Mississippi are being honored for giving back to their communities. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.
Lisa Mann of Seminary is giving her acceptance speech at the annual Crime Victims' Rights Week awards ceremony. She and her husband, Danny, were recognized for helping survivors of homicide in Mississippi. Mann's father was murdered by a man who was renting a house from her family in 1989. She says this was something her family never thought would happen to them.
"He was about four months behind on his rent and my grandmother was having to have him evicted from the home," said Mann. "He became angry and just happened to have a gun on him that day. And just pulled it out and shot my father at point blank range. And as far as we know, he died automatically there on the scene."
Attorney General Jim Hood's office hosted the event along with other organizations including the Department of Corrections and the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Hood says this is the sixteenth year they've honored victims, nonprofits, law enforcement and governmental entities.
"Truly many of these people are the least among us," said Hood. "They're at a point in their life when they're beat down. They don't understand the system. And for those to help them work through the criminal justice system, that's one of God's given gifts, I think, to human kind is where you have that human touch of helping somebody that day get through a tough times in their lives."
It's important for people grieving to reach out for help says Mann. She has advice for people who have lost loved ones to homicide.
"The main thing is just for them to recognize their grief and recognize their loss," said Mann. "It is something that's very extreme that most people just never believe they're going to have to go through."
In 2018, the Crime Victim Compensation Program distributed more than $2.5 million to close to 1,000 victims of crime in Mississippi who were in need of financial support.
Photo (L-R): Attorney General Jim Hood, Danny Mann, Lisa Mann, Gwendolyn Santos, and Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall