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Press Release

Justice Department Honors Contributions to Crime Victims’ Rights and Services at National Ceremony

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch today recognized crime victim survivors, advocates and allied professionals at the National Crime Victims’ Rights Service Awards ceremony.  This year’s event honored 10 individuals and programs for their extraordinary actions to bring positive and lasting change in the lives of crime victims.

“The extraordinary individuals being honored today are inspiring examples of service and selflessness,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  “Whether they are conducting research, championing new policies, or working directly with victims in need, these honorees are helping to revive hopes, restore futures, and reclaim lives.  I am deeply grateful for their contributions, and I am proud to say that the Justice Department stands with them in the work of ensuring that every victim of crime in the United States receives the assistance that they need and deserve.”

This year’s theme—Serving Victims, Building Trust, Restoring Hope—focuses the observances for the 2016 Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 10-16.  President Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, calling for greater sensitivity to the rights and needs of victims.  The Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and hosts an annual award ceremony.

Following is a list of the award recipients, who were nominated by their colleagues in the field and selected by the Attorney General:

  • Tomorrow’s Leaders Award – new award for 2016 – honors and highlights youth up to 24 years old who dedicate their efforts to supporting victims of crime. 

Recepient: Miki K. Nishizawa of Waipahu, Hawaii.

  • Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Service Award recognizes a program, organization or individual who helps expand the reach of victims’ rights and services.

Recipient: Choctaw Nation Victim Services of Hugo, Oklahoma.

  • The Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award recognizes individuals, programs, organizations or teams that develop innovative ways of funding services for crime victims or instituted innovative approaches for securing financial restoration for crime victims.

Recipients: Stephen J. Pfleger and Laura D. Rottenborn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.

  • The Crime Victims’ Rights Award honors those whose efforts to advance or enforce crime victims’ rights benefit crime victims at the state, tribal, or national level. 

Recipient: Russell P. Butler, Esq., Executive Director of Maryland’s Crime Victims’ Resource Center from Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

  • The National Crime Victim Service Award honors extraordinary efforts in direct service to crime victims.

Recipient: National Domestic Violence Hotline of Austin, Texas. 

  • The Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award honors leadership, innovation and vision that lead to noteworthy changes in public policy that benefit crime victims.

Recipient: Dr. John P. J. Dussich of Fresno, California.

  • The Special Courage Award recognizes extraordinary bravery in the aftermath of a crime or courageous act on behalf of a victim or potential victim.

Recipients: Kim Case of Jefferson City, Missouri and Brenda Tracy of Salem, Oregon.

  • The Vision 21 Crime Victims Research Award recognizes individual researchers or research teams that make a significant contribution to the nation’s understanding of crime victims’ issues.

Recipient: Dr. Anne P. DePrince of Denver. 

Descriptive narratives and videos of the contributions of recipients are available at Office for Victims of Crime’s Gallery:

About the Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

OJP, headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims.  OJP has six components: 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 can be found at

Updated April 12, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-439