Attorney General Edwin Meese III today honored ten people who have made outstanding
contributions in assisting victims of crime. Today's awards ceremony commemorated National Victims of
Crime Week (April 26 through May 2.)
In a recent message to the nation, President Reagan urged all citizens and government officials during Victims of Crime
week to reiterate their commitment to victims of crime, to highlight the progress made on behalf of victim concerns across
the country and to honor individuals working to protect the interests of crime victims.
"I commend the men and women, inside and outside the justice
system, in government and the private sector, and in communities
throughout the nation, who are dedicated to the fair treatment
of the innocent victims of crime," the President declared. "In
so doing, they affirm our nation's promise of liberty and
justice for all."
The honorees were greeted by the Attorney General and the
Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice
Programs, Richard B. Abell, at the Department of Justice
ceremony. They included criminal justice professionals, service
providers and individual victims who have contributed to efforts
to support victim issues.
In presenting the awards, the Attorney General stated: "This
Administration has made significant progress in restoring
balance to the criminal justice system so that the victims of
crime receive the fairness and respect they deserve. With the
help of those we honor during Victims of Crime Week, we are
reaching that goal."
Those honored were:
Denver Mock of Bryan, Ohio. Mock has been an elected
sheriff in Williams County, Ohio, for 20 years and has organized
victim rights conferences in the state. He directed one of the
most successful efforts in the country to educate sheriffs and
their deputies on the needs of crime victims, and served as a
training consultant to the National Organization for Victim
Assistance. Sheriff Mock was named the VFW Sheriff of the Year
for 1980, and received the Ohio Attorney General Award for
Bob Owens of Oxnard, California. Owens served as Oxnard's
chief of police for 16 years and made an outstanding commitment
to the training of his police officers in how to respond to
victims of crime, particularly in the area of domestic violence
and crisis intervention. He consistently worked to implement
other victim-related policies such as property return and
special child interview techniques.
Chief Owens was named the Outstanding Law Enforcement
Officer in 1984 by the California Trial Lawyers Association,
received the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce trophy for bringing
national recognition to the city, and was honored in 1985 for
Outstanding Achievement in Crime Prevention by the Governor of California.
Merton B. Tice, Jr.,
of Rapid City, South Dakota.
As a circuit court judge for the Seventh Judicial District
of South Dakota, Judge Tice has made the people of his home state acutely
aware of the needs and problems of crime victims. He
established a Committee on Victims and Witnesses that became an
aggressive promoter of victim rights, ranging from the
appointment of guardians ad litem for certain child victims to
consultation between a state's attorney and the victim prior to
Norman S. Early, Jr., of Denver, Colorado. Denver District
Attorney Norman Early has combined victim advocacy with his
career in criminal justice. As a Deputy District Attorney, he
established the Victim/Witness Assistance project in that city,
one of several original prosecutor-based programs. He is
responsible for the project's emphasis on criminal justice
training, interagency coordination, technical assistance and the
use of volunteers.
Among the honors bestowed upon District Attorney Early for
his contributions to the community and the judicial field are
the Park East Community Mental Health Center Award of
Appreciation and the Distinguished Faculty Award of the National
College of District Attorneys. He is President of the National
Organization for Victim Assistance.
Charlotte Hullinger of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mrs. Hullinger and
her husband, the Reverend Robert Hullinger, are founders of
Parents of Murdered Children. They established this self-help
organization after their 19-year-old daughter was killed by an
ex-boyfriend while the two of them were exchange students in
Germany. Parents of Murdered Children maintains a national
hotline for survivors of homicide victims, publishes a national
newsletter and an annual directory, and provides education and
literature for survivors and for professionals in various
helping fields about the needs of survivors of homicide victims.
Mrs. Hullinger was named one of the ten "women of the Year"
by the Cincinnati Enquirer for the year 1984. She has served on
the Ohio Advisory Board On Victims.
Virginia E. Mahoney of Baltimore, Maryland. As the Federal
Victim-Witness Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney, District of
Maryland, in Baltimore, Mrs. Mahoney was recognized for her
efforts on behalf of crime victims and victim services. She has
provided time, leadership and commitment to the implementation
of the Attorney General's guidelines for the Victim and Witness
Protection Act Of 1982 through her own program and as a resource
to the Department of Justice and to other victim-witness
coordinators. Mrs. Mahoney received the first President's Award
from the Maryland Victim Assistance Network in 1984 and the
Maryland Governor's Victim Assistance Award for professional
Constance C. Noblet of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Mrs.
Nobler has served as the executive director of the Crime Victims
Center of Chester County, Pennsylvania, for 13 years. As one of
the pioneers in the victim's movement, Mrs. Noblet has been
involved in numerous workshops and seminars, sharing her skills
and expertise with new victim service providers and criminal
justice professionals. She serves as an advisor to communities
developing sexual assault or comprehensive crime victims centers
and volunteers her time to the National Organization for Victim
Assistance and the National Institute of Mental Health as a
conference planner and facilitator. Mrs. Noblet is the
recipient of the First Woman of the Year Award from the Women's
Coalition of Pennsylvania.
Rita Koppinger of Glendale, Arizona. As the human services
director for the city of Glendale, Miss Koppinger directs the
activities of the Victim Assistance unit. Her unit received an
award from the National Organization for Victim Assistance for
its comprehensive services to victims and its special assistance
to Hispanic, elderly, and domestic violence victims and homicide
survivors. Miss Koppinger also oversees a Youth Services
Program, an Employee Assistance Program, and a noteworthy
Neighborhood Mediation Service that helps residents resolve
neighborhood and domestic disputes that would otherwise tie up
countless police hours.
Robert Preston of Boynton Beach, Florida. Preston abandoned
his career as an electronics engineer after the murder of his
21-year-old daughter in 1977, to serve full time as a volunteer
for JUSTICE FOR SURVIVING VICTIMS. This organization is devoted
to elevating the status of all victims in the criminal justice
system. Preston was a primary force in the successful passage
of Florida's Victim-Witness Protection Act of 1984 and worked
actively on tort reform legislation and the 1981 exclusionary
rule reform in the state. He has received recognition for his
work from such organizations as the Florida Network of Victim
Witness Services, the National Organization for Victim
Assistance, Palm Beach County and the Florida Trial Lawyers
Barbara Kaplan of Newton, Massachusetts. In 1981, Mrs.
Kaplan became a victim of violent crime while at her office at a
mental health center in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. A man opened
the door of the meeting room and fired four shots, murdering the
staff psychiatrist and psychologist and sending two bullets into
the head of Mrs. Kaplan. The assault caused her to lose the
sight of one eye. Drawing on her experience as a victim of
violent crime, Mrs. Kaplan conducts workshops and training
sessions to increase the knowledge of others on the emotional
impact of violent crime. She is the author of "Survivors Story:
Aftermath of a Shooting," as well as other publications, and
serves on the Board of the Massachusetts Office for Victim
"The efforts of these individuals have generated significant
changes in their communities in the way the justice system and
society are responding to the needs of crime victims," Acting
Assistant Attorney General Abell said. "Because of their work
and that of others like them, action has been taken upon nearly
75 percent of the recommendations of the President's Task Force
on Victims of Crime."
The Office for Victims of Crime within the Office of Justice
Programs at the Department of Justice was established to help the
states implement the Task Force recommendations on how to improve
and expand the criminal justice system's response to victims of
crime. The Office is providing training for law enforcement officials to
inform them about the needs of crime victims and how to better serve them.
The Office collects and disseminates information and
resources vital to those involved in assisting victims and
administers the Victims of Crime fund which awards Federal
dollars to state victim compensation and assistance programs.
"Across the nation," Abell said, "victims, service
providers and criminal justice personnel exemplified by those
honored today are working for legislative reforms, monitoring
court proceedings, riding to the scenes of crimes with police
and offering emotional support to one another.
"The concerted efforts of these honorees and the many other
dedicated citizens across the country have led to the
establishment of local victim/witness assistance programs,
homicide survivor groups rape crisis centers, shelters for
battered wives and abused children, and programs to locate and
protect missing and exploited children."
"The progress is indeed encouraging," the President stated
in his message to the nation on Crime Victims Week. "The tide
of support for victims is swelling and will continue to move
forward into the future...For the sake of justice and human
dignity, it is imperative that we treat victims of crime with
respect, compassion, and fairness."
After hours contact: Paula Felt, 703/836-0490