WASHINGTON Ã¯Â¿Â½ The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Texas was recently recognized by the Department of Justice for its work on behalf of crime victims.
The Crime Victims Fund Award was presented to the Financial Litigation Unit, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas, Tyler, Texas, for its efforts to maximize fine collections on behalf of the Crime Victims Fund and the restitution payments to victims of crime.
Crime Victims Fund Award recognizes individuals or teams for their outstanding work in pursuing federal criminal offenders and imposing and collecting the criminal fines.
The Financial Litigation Unit assures defendants meet their responsibilities to victims in restitution cases, by coordinating with prosecutors and investigating agencies to prevent fraudulent asset transfers, or the hiding of assets, by defendants.
The unit was one of three organizations and seven individuals awarded by Attorney General Eric Holder at a ceremony on April 8 in Washington, D.C.
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. This year's theme Ã¯Â¿Â½"Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past" Ã¯Â¿Â½ 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 movementÃ¯Â¿Â½one 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 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."
"Today's Justice Department is working with medical and law enforcement professionals, service providers and crime victim advocates to reach those victims most in need of help," said Holder. "We're also evolving to meet new challenges and emerging threats. As criminals adapt to an inter-connected world, Ã¯Â¿Â½ in partnership with law enforcement Ã¯Â¿Â½ we are working hard to serve victims of youth violence, cybercrime, identify theft, human trafficking and fraud."
The award presentation, along with the Candlelight Observance held in Washington, D.C., was organized by the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs and its Office for Victims of Crime. In addition to the attorney general, others participating in the awards ceremony were Assistant Attorney General for OJP Laurie O. Robinson and OVC Acting Director Joye E. Frost.
The recipients 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 other awards and recipients presented by the attorney general are:
National Crime Victim Service Award: House of Ruth Maryland
Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services: Elder Abuse Forensic Center, Orange County, Calif.
Volunteer for Victims Award: Pamela Faith Young McCarter, M.D., York, Penn.
Special Courage Award: Nicole M. Robinson, Clinton, Md.
Allied Professional Award: The Honorable Ronald Reinstein, Phoenix; Sarah Deer, St. Paul, Minn.
Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award: Brooks Douglass, Malibu, Calif.
Federal Service Award: Robert S. Mueller III, Washington, D.C.; Charlotte Leigh Moerbe, PhD., Fort Sam Houston, Texas