Justice Department Honors Contributions to Crime Victims' Rights and Services
The Department of Justice today recognized 12 individuals and teams for their exceptional service to crime victims and innovative work to support victims’ rights. The award recipients were honored during the annual National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony.
“During this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Department of Justice is proud to pay tribute to the outstanding contributions of the people and groups helping crime victims, reducing crime and improving public safety,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio. “We are inspired by their lives, and we are honored to stand with them.”
The awardees were selected from public nominations in nine categories, including federal service, special courage, public policy and victim services. The Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, calling for greater sensitivity to the rights and needs of victims. This year’s observance takes place April 2-8 and features the theme Strength. Resilience. Justice.
“These remarkable individuals and teams demonstrate the tremendous difference a small group of dedicated, inspired and courageous people can make in the lives of victims,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan R. Hanson for the Office of Justice Programs. “The Department of Justice is proud to honor them and build on their good work through the Department’s Office of Victims of Crime.”
Following is a list of the award recipients:
- The National Crime Victim Service Award honors extraordinary efforts to provide direct services to crime victims.
Recipient: The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention, Riverdale, New York
- The Crime Victims’ Rights Award recognizes those whose efforts to advance or enforce victims’ rights benefit victims at the state, tribal or national level.
Recipient: Office of Victim Services Agency Support Team, Office of the Arizona Attorney General, Phoenix, Arizona
- The Allied Professional Award recognizes individuals working outside the victim assistance field for their service to victims.
Recipient: Captain Michael Holt, Jackson Police Department, Jackson, Tennessee
- The Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services recognizes a program, organization or individual who expands the reach of victims’ rights and services.
Recipient: Healing Hurt People, Philadelphia, 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: Kendall L. Carver, Phoenix, Arizona
Recipient: Diane Moyer, Esq., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Recipient: The late Teresa P. Scalzo, Alexandria, Virginia
- The Volunteer for Victims Award recognizes individuals who serve victims without compensation.
Recipient: BastaYaPR, Inc., Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
Recipient: Linda D. Axley, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
- The Federal Service Award recognizes federal agency personnel for service to victims of federal, tribal or military crimes.
Recipient: The Blackwater Victim Services Team, Washington, D.C.
- The Tomorrow’s Leaders Award recognizes youth up to 24 years old for efforts to support crime victims.
Recipient: Maya Weinstein, Washington, D.C.
- The Special Courage Award honors extraordinary bravery in the aftermath of a crime or a courageous act on behalf of a victim or potential victim.
Recipient: Laura L. Dunn, Esq., Washington, D.C.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan R. Hanson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.