Judge uses alternative sentences to make point
CONFERENCE SPEAKER – Donald Cabana speaks on "The Aftermath of Rape-What to Expect" during the "Making a Difference for Victims of Crime in 2002" conference Thursday at Central United Methodist Church. The conference ends today. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Aug. 9, 2002
A Texas judge told a conference on crime Thursday that he orders convicted murderers to hang their victim's photo on their jail cell wall.
Judge Ted Poe of Houston also said he demands people convicted of domestic violence to apologize to their victims on the courthouse steps in front of the public and the media.
Poe was among several speakers on the first day of the two-day conference focusing on violent crimes against women and children. "Making a Difference for Victims of Crime in 2002" concludes today .
The free conference is at the Family Life Center of Central United Methodist Church, 1004 23rd Ave. in Meridian. About 175 people, including social workers, counselors and law officers, attended Thursday.
The conference, sponsored by Wesley House Community Center, is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Maj. Ward Calhoun of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department said he was impressed with the speakers, including Poe who has received national attention for his innovative sentencing.
Besides talking about his unusual sentences, Poe also said the courts need to become more sensitive to the plight of children who are victims of crime.
He said he allows victim advocates to be in his courtroom for a child's support.
Dr. Donald Cabana, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Southern Mississippi and former warden of the Mississippi State Penitentiary, also spoke Thursday.
Cabana talked about "The Individual Psychopathy of the Sex Offender" and "The Aftermath of Rape What to Expect."
He said child molesters should be put in prison for life because there is no "real evidence" that pedophilia is curable and that pedophiles frequently offend again.
Cabana said that he has seen children repeatedly victimized during his 35 years of experience in the criminal justice system. He said progress has been made with more support systems available for victims, but more needs to be done.
The conference resumes today at 9 a.m. with Dr. Marlene A. Young as the speaker. She is an attorney and founder of the National Organization for Victim Assistance.
She is also a member of the victims committee of the American Bar Association and is a founding board member of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.
Those attending the conference will also hear from Detective James L. Cowart, of the McComb Police Department; Tonya Rogillo, social worker from McComb; and Amerah Shabazz, a victim of violence who will talk about religion and victimization.