News and Press Releases

Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Valeska Receives Award for Service to Victims during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2013

Montgomery, Alabama - Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Valeska was honored for outstanding service to crime victims in an awards ceremony hosted by the Wiregrass Angel House V.O.C.A.L. on April 23, 2013, announced George L. Beck, Jr., United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. This award was presented to Assistant U.S. Attorney Valeska for his unwavering support and demonstrated commitment on behalf of children, victims and law enforcement.

This award was presented in conjunction with the observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 21-27. This year’s theme, “New Challenges. New Solutions,” celebrates the spirit that will advance the progress these heroes achieved. It also captures the spirit and highlights the need for us to assist and serve each and every victim in need of hope and help.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is deeply committed to assisting victims of federal crimes, ensuring they are afforded their rights under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, protecting them from further harm, and helping them reshape their futures,” said U.S. Attorney George Beck, Jr. “This week is a time to raise awareness about the rights and needs of crime victims, the challenges victims face in the recovery process, and the positive impact of those who provide services and support to victims.”

The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA), enacted in 2004, grants victims in federal criminal proceedings certain enforceable rights, including the right to be reasonably heard at public court proceedings and to receive full and timely restitution as provided by law. The Middle District of Alabama has a dedicated Victim Witness Unit that serves federal crime victims across the District’s 23 counties. Members of this unit notify victims of significant case events through the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Victim Notification System (VNS). Such notice enables victims to participate in court proceedings and make their voices heard. According to Department of Justice Statistics, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices provided notice of over 12.2 million case events, including notices regarding criminal charges filed, plea hearings, bond hearings and sentencing hearings.

Notification of significant case events leads to increased victim participation in court proceedings. Court accompaniment helps ensure that victim participation in court proceedings is meaningful as Victim-Witness personnel can answer questions and explain the federal judicial process.

In addition to notification and court accompaniment, the Middle District of Alabama’s Victim Witness Unit provides essential services to victims, such as making referrals for counseling, securing temporary housing, assisting with access to victim compensation funds, and accompanying victims to court to provide support and guidance during the proceedings. These services provide tools victims need to reshape their futures.

Further information about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is available at ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw.

 

PRESS CONTACT: Clark Morris
Email: usaalm.press@usdoj.gov
Telephone: (334) 551-1755
Fax: (334) 223-7617

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