Justice Department Honors Former San Diego City Attorney for Contributions to Victims’ Services
Today, the Department of Justice recognized Casey Gwinn, President of Alliance for HOPE International, with the Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award during the annual National Crime Victims’ Service Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. This honor is awarded to individuals whose leadership, vision, and innovation have led to significant changes in public policy and practice that benefit crime victims.
“Throughout his career, Casey Gwinn has worked tirelessly to make resources available to children and their families in the aftermath of crime, as well as to prosecute the heinous individuals responsible to the fullest extent of the law,” Attorney General Sessions said. “Casey’s efforts helped reduce crime in San Diego and his Camp HOPE initiative continues to minister to the unique needs of children exposed to domestic violence. I am grateful for his extraordinary service.”
Gwinn currently serves as the president of Alliance for HOPE International. He was elected and served as the San Diego City Attorney from 1996 to 2004. Prior to elected office, he founded the City Attorney’s Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Unit. He led this unit from 1986 to 1996, prosecuting both misdemeanor and felony cases. In 1993, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recognized his unit as the model prosecution unit in the nation.
Gwinn founded the San Diego Family Justice Center (FJC) which brought 25 local agencies under one roof to better serve victims of crime. San Diego’s model inspired a national movement, and today there are FJCs in 40 states.
“Mr. Gwinn is an incredible example of how one person can have a tremendous impact in his community and around the country,” said Director of the Office for Victims of Crime Darlene Hutchinson. “The Department of Justice is proud to honor him for his remarkable contributions and commitment to justice for all individuals victimized by crime.”
During today’s ceremony, the Justice Department recognized a dozen individuals and organizations for their outstanding efforts on behalf of victims of crime. Awardees were selected from public nominations in ten categories.
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. Attorney’s Offices organize events to honor the victims and advocates, as well as bring awareness to services available to victims of crime. This year’s observance takes place April 8-14, with the theme Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims.
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 provides innovative leadership to federal, state, local, and tribal justice systems, by disseminating state-of-the art knowledge and practices across America, and providing grants for the implementation of these crime fighting strategies. Because most of the responsibility for crime control and prevention falls to law enforcement officers in states, cities, and neighborhoods, the federal government can be effective in these areas only to the extent that it can enter into partnerships with these officers. More information about the Office of Justice Programs and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov. More information about Crime Victim’s Rights Week can be found at https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/.