The Justice Department will honor 12 individuals and programs for their exceptional service to victims of crime during the annual National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 12. The Department will also recognize former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese for a career of outstanding service on behalf of crime victims.
“Victims of crime deserve justice. This Department works every day to help them recover and to find, prosecute, and convict those who have done them harm,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “During this National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we pause to remember the millions of Americans who have been victims of crime and we thank public servants who have served them in especially heroic ways. This week the men and women of the Department recommit ourselves once again to ensuring that crime victims continue to have a voice in our legal system, to securing justice for them, and to preventing other Americans from suffering what they have endured.”
Each year in April, the Department of Justice observes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by taking time to honor victims of crime and those who advocate on their behalf. In addition, the Justice Department and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices participate in events to bring awareness to the services available to victims. This year’s observance takes place April 7-13, with the theme, “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.”
“Almost 50 years ago, a grassroots movement rose up to support crime victims and survivors, and that movement has grown into a nationwide effort that reaches victims in every corner of our country,” said Matt M. Dummermuth, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “While the Justice Department is making more funding available than ever before to meet victims’ needs, champions like the ones we honor today are offering victims ‘hope for the future.’”
The following award recipients were selected by the Office for Victims of Crime from nominations received from many sources. Individual press releases are available using the included links.
Allied Professional Award recognizes individuals from a specific discipline outside the victim assistance field for their service to victims and/or contributions to the victim assistance field.
- Recipient: Sgt. Amy Dudewicz, Bernalillo County, New Mexico
- Recipient: Diana Faugno, Rancho Mirage, California
Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services recognizes a program, organization or individual who has helped to expand the reach of victims’ rights and services.
- Recipient: Richard H. Norcross, III, Keasbey, New Jersey
Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award honors individuals, programs or teams that developed innovative ways of funding services for crime victims or instituted innovative approaches for securing financial restoration for crime victims.
- Recipient: Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Team, San Mateo County, California
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 local, state, tribal or national level.
- Recipient: Susan Howley, Washington, D.C.
National Crime Victim Service Award honors extraordinary individuals and programs that provide services to victims of crime.
- Recipient: Eva Velasquez, San Diego, California
- Recipient: Mark Weiner, Newark, Ohio.
Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award honors those whose leadership, vision and innovation have led to significant changes in public policy and practice that benefit crime victims.
- Recipient: Hallie Bongar White, Tucson, Arizona
- Recipient: Missey Smith, Overland Park, Kansas
Special Courage Award recognizes a victim or survivor who has exhibited exceptional perseverance or determination in dealing with his or her own victimization.
- Recipient: Shari Kastein, Sioux Center, Iowa
- Recipient: James Shaw, Nashville, Tennessee
Volunteer for Victim Award honors individuals for their extraordinary and selfless efforts resulting in positive and lasting changes in the lives of crime victims.
- Recipient: Laura Abbott, Cabot, Arkansas
The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, within the Office of Justice Programs, leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week each year. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in 1981 to bring greater sensitivity to the needs and rights of victims of crime.
The Office of Justice Programs, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt M. Dummermuth, provides federal leadership, grants and resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal justice system. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.