DOJ Press Release letterhead

  • Contact: Michelle Muth Person
  • Phone: (202) 307-0703
  • TTY: (202) 514-1888

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OBSERVES NATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBERANCE
FOR MURDER VICTIMS

WASHINGTON, DC - The Department of Justice is joining with the National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc., to honor homicide victims and to recognize the impact on surviving family members and loved ones today during the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. John Gillis, Director of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) at the Justice Department, will deliver remarks at an observance at the National Press Club at 6:00 P.M.EDT today.

“As the father of a child lost to homicide, I know the desolation of such an indescribable loss. I also learned that when families and friends of homicide victims speak out from their hearts, and in unison, we can have a tremendous impact on public policy, criminal and juvenile justice system reform, and in how our nation views and treats those who have endured this type of devastating loss,” said Director Gillis.

He added, “According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 16,929 individuals were murdered in 2007; however, this doesn’t include the thousands of other homicide victims who die each year as a result of domestic violence or drunk driving, and it’s important that these crime victims and their survivors also be honored today.”

Throughout the year, OVC oversees assistance to crime victims through a number of programs, including the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) compensation and assistance programs. In Fiscal Year 2008, more than $480 million was awarded to fund state and local victim compensation and assistance efforts.

Both the victim assistance grants and the victim compensation awards are funded by the Crime Victims Fund, which is derived from fines, penalty assessments, and bail forfeitures collected from convicted federal criminals. Victim compensation programs provide reimbursement to, or on behalf of, crime victims for crime-related expenses such as medical costs, mental health counseling, funeral and burial costs, and lost wages or loss of support. State victim assistance programs fund local victim assistance services such as crisis intervention, counseling, emergency shelter, and criminal justice system advocacy. More information about these and other victim assistance programs is available at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/.

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 Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.

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