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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 8, 2019

U.S. Attorney's Office Partners With Western North Carolina Crime Victims Coalition In Observance Of National Crime Victims' Rights Week

District Employee to Receive Recognition for Lifelong Work with Victims of Crime

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Each year in April, the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, by taking time to honor victims of crime and those who advocate on their behalf.

This year’s observance takes place April 7-13, with the theme “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future,” which celebrates the progresses made, and a future of crime victim services that is more inclusive, accessible and trauma-informed.

“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.”

“Behind crime statistics are real crimes, inflicted upon real people. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is a time of remembrance, and a tribute to those whose lives have been affected by crime,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray. “Each day, the public servants of the U.S. Attorney’s Office work hard to honor their oath to serve the citizens of the Western District, to advocate for those individuals and communities affected by crime, and to seek justice for crime victims, their families, and their loved ones.”    

In observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Western North Carolina Crime Victims Coalition will hold a meet-and-greet on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. in Asheville.  Local Asheville City and Buncombe County government staff, council members, commissioners, law enforcement, service providers, and survivors of crime are invited to discuss the County’s efforts to provide assistance and support to crime victims. Also on that date, the Asheville Buncombe Homicide Survivors Support Group will celebrate its first anniversary.  The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m., at the YWCA, located at 185 S. French Broad Avenue, in Asheville. 

Lynne W. Crout to be Recognized for Her Contributions to Crime Victims

Lynne Ward Crout, Victim Assistance Specialist for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will receive the “Outstanding Criminal Justice Professional Award,” in recognition of her lifelong service and advocacy for victims of crime.  Ms. Crout will be honored by the Crime Victim Coalition in Charlotte, and the ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 11, 2019, at the Mayfield Missionary Baptist Church. 

Ms. Crout works for the U.S. Attorney’s Office branch located in Asheville. She has been with the office for 34 years, with the past 20 years working as a Victim Witness Coordinator.  Ms. Crout works directly with victims on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Pisgah National Forest.  Her duties include providing advocacy, support and services to federal crime victims.  In 2002, Ms. Crout won the National Crime Victims’ Services Award for her work with victim families on three capital murder cases.  Ms. Crout is a member of the North Carolina Victim Assistance Network, and Co-chair of the Western North Carolina Crime Victims Coalition. 

“Ms.  Crout’s work embodies this Office’s ongoing commitment to uphold the rule of law, to protect our fellow citizens, to help and empower the most vulnerable among us, and to give justice to those who have been affected by crime and violence.  I commend Ms. Crout for her decades of public service, during which she has achieved outstanding results in work that makes a difference in the lives of citizens across the Western District.”

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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. 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/.

Updated April 8, 2019