FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 08, 2011 -
WASHINGTON -Attorney General Eric Holder today at an awards ceremony hosted by the Department of Justice recognized seven individuals and three organizations for outstanding work on behalf of crime victims. The Attorney General's Annual Victims' Service Awards are presented as a prelude to the nation's observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 10-16, 2011. This year's theme —"Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past" — highlights the importance of crime victims' rights and recognizes individuals and organizations that demonstrate a commitment to this effort.
"Each of the leaders, legal advocates, public servants and concerned citizens here today are part of a powerful, national movement—one that inspired the passage of the historic 1984 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) that created the Crime Victims Fund, as well as the 1994 crime bill and the Violence Against Women Act," said Attorney General Holder. "We commend these individuals and service providers who, when faced with emerging challenges, seek out new ways to protect our communities, and to more effectively assist and empower crime victims."
The recipients of today's awards were nominated by their colleagues in the victim service and criminal justice fields. These awards recognize their courageous responses in the aftermath of a crime; their professional efforts to better serve the needs of victims of human trafficking, identity theft and elder abuse; and their assurance that victims receive the compensation and other services available to them at the state and local level. The following awards were presented by the attorney general:
Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award: Honors an individual whose leadership, vision and innovation results in significant changes to public policy and practice benefiting crime victims.
Recipient: Brooks Douglass, Malibu, Calif., for serving victims of crime and changing state legislation to help guide victims through the criminal justice system. As an Oklahoma State Senator, Mr. Douglas authored and worked to pass numerous crime rights' bills and laws, including the Oklahoma Victims' Bill of Rights, which dramatically changed the state criminal justice system. He also worked to pass laws regulating rights to restitution; confidentiality of victim information; rights of victims to attend all court proceedings; rights to be informed of case status; and right of victims to attend the execution of their loved one's convicted killer.[CLICK for complete press release]