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Awards Ceremony on April 11 is Prelude to National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

WASHINGTON - As part of its 28th annual observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 13-19, the Department of Justice will honor the nine recipients of this year's National Crime Victims' Rights Week Awards at an awards ceremony on Friday, April 11, 2008. The awards program, which is coordinated by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), a component of the Department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP), recognizes the work of individuals and organizations that have helped victims rebuild their lives.

"Crime Victims' Rights Week reminds all of us of the need to keep up our efforts to ensure protections, services, and rights for crime victims," said Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey. "Today's award recipients have made important contributions to those efforts. I am honored to share the stage with such distinguished and brave individuals."

"It's important to remember that crime victims are forever changed by crime," explained John W. Gillis, OVC Director. "And it's remarkable that countless victims have found hope and new lives despite the terrible events that changed their worlds. Because crime can strike anyone, victims' rights are everyone's rights."

These nine honorees were nominated by their colleagues in the victim service and criminal justice fields to recognize either their courageous responses in the aftermath of a crime or their professional efforts to better serve the needs of victims with disabilities, to design and implement curricula and tools for victim service providers, and to ensure that victims receive the services that they need. More details about the recipients who are named below are available at:

National Crime Victim Service Award: Honors extraordinary efforts in direct service to crime victims.

Andrea Conte, Nashville, Tenn.
Nora J. Baladerian, Ph.D., Los Angeles, Calif.

Allied Professional Award: Recognizes an individual or organization outside the victim assistance field for services or contributions to the victims' field.

Steven Walker, Ph.D., Fresno, Calif.
Kim K. Ogg, Houston, Texas

Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services: Recognizes the development of effective methods for expanding the reach of victims' rights and services.

Recipient: Andrea Lockhart, Winter Haven, Fla.

Federal Service Award: Honors exceptional contributions and extraordinary impact on behalf of victims in Indian Country, on military installations, in national parks, or in other areas governed by federal jurisdiction.

Recipient: Donna R. Duplantier, New Orleans, La.

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: Dan Eddy, Alexandria, Va.

Crime Victims Fund Award: Recognizes outstanding work in pursuit of federal criminal offenders and in the collection of fines, penalty fees, forfeited bail bonds, and special assessments that constitute the Crime Victims Fund and victim restitution.

Recipient: Treasury Offset Program, Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, Washington, D.C.

Special Courage Award: Recognizes extraordinary bravery in the aftermath of a crime or courageous act on behalf of a victim or potential victim.

Recipient: Yvette Dione Cade, Temple Hills, Md.

The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey L. Sedgwick, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking Office (SMART). More information can be found at