☷Attorney General Merrick B Garland Recognizes Individuals and Organizations for Service to Victims of Crime
U.S. Department of Justice ( By Press Release office)
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Attorney General Merrick B . Garland , joined by Deputy Attorney General Lisa O . Monaco and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta , today recognized 14 individuals , organizations , and teams for their advocacy on behalf of victims of crime . The award recipients were honored during the annual National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony . “Empowering and encouraging people who have been victimized to participate in our legal system is essential to justice , ” said Attorney General Garland . “For the past 41 years , the Department of Justice has recognized the challenges , struggles , and achievements of crime victims and victim advocates in their efforts to secure the rights , access , and equal justice that all survivors deserve . I am pleased to congratulate this year ' s honorees on their selection for these distinguished awards and extend my deepest gratitude for their continued work . ”The awardees were selected from public nominations in multiple categories , including federal service , public policy , victim services , and a Special Courage award . The Office for Victims of Crime ( OVC ) , a component of the Department’s Office of Justice Programs ( OJP ) , leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week . President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981 , placing crime victims ' rights , needs and concerns in prominence on the American agenda . President Reagan also established the President ' s Task Force on Victims of Crime , which laid the groundwork for a national network of services and legal safeguards for crime victims . This year is the 40th anniversary of the Task Force’s Final Report and marks 50 years since the establishment of the first three victim assistance organizations — Bay Area Women Against Rape in Oakland , California; the D . C . Rape Crisis Center in Washington , D . C . ; and Aid for Victims of Crime ( now the Crime Victim Advocacy Center ) in St . Louis , Missouri . The creation of these organizations , all of which still exist today , is considered to be the genesis of the crime victims’ movement in the United States . The 41st observance of NCVRW takes place this year , April 24 - 30 , and features the theme , “Rights , Access , Equity , for All Victims . ”“This time every year , we honor and remember victims of crime , not only for the trauma that they have endured and the adversity they have encountered , but also for their courage and resilience and for paving the way toward justice and healing for countless other survivors across the country , ” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L . Solomon . “These extraordinary individuals and teams embody an ethic of service and compassion that distinguishes them from an already exceptional field of victim - serving professionals . We join the Attorney General in expressing our deepest appreciation for providing crime victims — all crime victims — a place to turn in their time of need . ”Following is a list of the 2022 NCVRW award recipients:The Allied Professional Award recognizes individuals working outside the victim assistance field for their service to victims . Recipients: Deborah Flowers , Pittsboro , North Carolina , and Dr . Linda Laras , Caguas , Puerto Rico . The Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services recognizes a program , organization or individual who expands the reach of victims’ rights and services . Recipients: Barrier Free Living , Bronx , New York , and LGBTQ+ Victim Advocacy Initiative at Eskenazi Health , Indianapolis , Indiana . The Financial Restoration Award recognizes individuals , programs , organizations , or teams that have instituted innovative approaches for securing financial restoration for crime victims . Recipient: Asset Forfeiture Unit and Financial Litigation Program in the U . S . Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee , Nashville . The Victims Research Award recognizes individual researchers or research teams who made a significant contribution to the nation’s understanding of crime victim issues . Recipient: John Chapin , Ph . D . , Monaca , Pennsylvania . The Crime Victims’ Rights Award honors the dedicated champions throughout our nation whose efforts to advance or enforce crime victims’ rights have benefited victims of crime at the state , Tribal , or national level . Recipient: Derek Marchman , Conyers , Georgia . The Federal Service Award recognizes federal agency personnel for service to victims of federal , Tribal , or military crimes . Recipient: Environmental Crime Victim Assistance Team , Washington , D . C . The National Crime Victim Service Award honors extraordinary efforts to provide direct services to crime victims . Recipient: Brenda J . Muhammad , Atlanta , Georgia and Michelle L . Shae , Abbottstown , Pennsylvania . The Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award honors leadership , innovation , and vision that lead to noteworthy changes in public policy on behalf of crime victims . Recipient: The Every Voice Coalition , Boston , Massachusetts . The Special Courage Award honors extraordinary bravery in the aftermath of a crime or courageous act on behalf of a victim or potential victim . Recipients: Gail Frances Gardner , Ocoee , Florida and Suamhirs Piraino - Guzman , Seattle , Washington . The Volunteer for Victims Award recognizes individuals who serve without compensation . Recipient: Linda Stambaugh , Newell , South Dakota . “The Office for Victims of Crime works every day to support victims in every corner of our country , ensuring that no crime survivor feels voiceless , marginalized , or alone , ” said OVC Director Kristina Rose . “Through their tireless work , boundless capacity for empathy , and fierce devotion to justice , these award recipients have made it possible for victims to find their voice and to begin , with a feeling of hope , the long journey toward healing . ”During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week , victim advocacy organizations , community groups and state , local , and Tribal agencies traditionally host rallies , candlelight vigils , and other events to raise awareness of victims’ rights and services . This year , many communities are organizing virtual gatherings and online public awareness campaigns . To learn more about past NCVRW recipients , visit the OVC Gallery . The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership , grants , training , technical assistance , and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime , advance racial equity in the administration of justice , assist victims , and enhance the rule of law . More information about OJP and its components can be found at www . ojp . gov .
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