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Kelly Jolkowski Honored for Outstanding Service to Crime Victims

Attorney General Eric H. Holder recognized nine individuals
and one organization for outstanding work on behalf of crime victims in an awards
ceremony hosted by the Department of Justice today.

 


 

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 18-April 24,
2010. This year’s theme —“Crime Victims’ Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect.” —
highlights the importance of affording crime victims these rights and recognizes
individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to this effort.
 

The award presentation, along with the Candlelight Observance held yesterday in
Washington, D.C., was organized by the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice
Programs (OJP) and its Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). In addition to the Attorney
General, others participating in the awards ceremony were Laurie O. Robinson, Assistant
Attorney General, OJP, and Joye E. Frost, Acting Director, OVC.
 

The recipients of today’s awards were nominated by their colleagues in the victim
service and criminal justice fields. Their awards recognize their courageous responses in
the aftermath of a crime, as well as their professional efforts to better serve the needs of
victims with disabilities; to assist U.S. citizens victimized outside the United States; and
to ensure 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:
National Crime Victim Service Award: Honors extraordinary efforts in direct service
to crime victims.

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center
(AODVC), Portland, Ore., assists Americans who are survivors of domestic
violence overseas. The center provides a continuum of services, including long-
term case management, safety planning and relocation, legal assistance,
professional counseling, and assistance with basic needs.

Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services: Recognizes a program,
organization, or individual that has helped to expand the reach of victims’ rights and
services.

Gael Strack, San Diego, Calif., for advocating for victims of
domestic violence and their children. She co-founded the first Family Justice
Center in San Diego, Calif., which integrates multiple critical services for
domestic violence victims, including legal, medical, and police services, along
with counseling, daycare and a comforting environment. In addition, she has
taught women, students, and community leaders about the signs of domestic
violence through her many co-authored books, articles, classes and trainings.

Barri Rosenbluth, Austin, Texas, for her leadership in the
innovative design, policy development, and community engagement related to
youth victims of dating and sexual violence. She created and expanded the
Austin, Texas-based Expect Respect program, which provides counseling and
support groups in the Austin-area for K-12 youth hurt by dating and sexual
violence. This program serves thousands of youth and adults each year, and has
become a model that is nationally recognized for addressing and preventing
dating and sexual violence.
Allied Professional Award: Recognizes an individual or organization outside the victim
assistance field for services or contributions to the victims’ field.

Joanne Archambault, Addy, Wash., for her dedication to ensure
that crime survivors receive competent, compassionate care, and that dangerous
predators are brought to justice. She served for 23 years as a law enforcement
officer with the San Diego Police Department. Since retiring, she founded the
nonprofit organization, End Violence Against Women (EVAW) International, and
Sexual Assault Training & Investigations (SATI) Inc., which helps thousands of
multidisciplinary professionals stay current through electronic newsletters,
training materials, and other resources available on www.mysati.com.

Carolyn Morgan, Philadelphia, Pa., for being an outspoken
advocate for people with disabilities, particularly those who have been victims of
crime. Ms. Morgan, as she is also a person with a disability, has worked with
individuals and groups on both the local and state level to build awareness,
educate, and foster collaborations with first responders. She co-founded Self-
Advocates United As 1, an advocacy group comprised of people with intellectual
disabilities.

Volunteer for Victims Award: Honors individuals for their uncompensated efforts to
reach out to victims.

Kelly Jolkowski, Omaha, Neb., for assisting families of the
missing, following her own experience of her 19-year old son who has been
missing since 2001. She and her husband, Jim Jokowski founded Project Jason, a
nonprofit organization that seeks to provide families of the missing with
knowledge, raise public awareness about missing loved ones, and try to affect
state laws with regard to the manner in which missing persons cases are handled
by law enforcement. In a short time, Project Jason has assisted thousands of
families, by raising public awareness through the media, disseminating posters,
and providing hundreds of referrals.
 

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.

Larry Tackman, Albuquerque, N.M., retired as a director of the
New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission, and has been a diligent and
progressive manager of crime victim compensation, victim assistance programs,
and victims’ rights in New Mexico. Mr. Tackman was instrumental in the
formation of the annual Advocacy in Action Conference and the Basic Victim
Advocacy Training in New Mexico, which allows for victim service providers
and allied professionals to receive the education and training needed to support
the state’s crime victims. In addition, as the first president of the National
Association of Victims of Crime Act Assistance Administrators, he helped
establish its mission to focus on the identification and replication of promising
practices to improve administrative oversight of funding programs to aid crime
victims.
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.

Marcia L. Rinker, United States Attorney’s Office,
Washington, DC, for serving on the District’s Domestic Violence Fatality
Review Board and the D.C. Homicide Coalition to develop ways to strengthen the
resources available for crime victims in the District of Columbia. Ms. Rinker is
the only homicide advocate and provides support to more than 30 homicide
prosecutors, in addition to constantly ensuring that victims are aware of their
rights, and receive necessary services.

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.

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Verlean K. Brown, Deployed Sexual
Assault Response Coordinator, Sherwood, Ark., for implementing the Sexual
Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program in a combat
environment, and for establishing supportive relationship with the U. S. Air Force
Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC). She has assisted 100 service
members and supervised and trained 200 victims’ advocates. In addition, MSG
Brown has conducted more than 40 education and training classes for 2,000
soldiers, airmen, and civilians.
Special Courage Award: Recognizes extraordinary bravery in the aftermath of a crime
or courageous act on behalf of a victim or potential victim.

Michelle Corrao, Noblesville, Ind., was abducted 13 years ago at
her own front door by three men. Kidnapped, raped, and beaten unconscious, she
was bound and thrown into a car trunk. She knew she would die, so she, with
much difficulty removed her rings and bracelet and tucked them under the trunk
carpet in hope that her body could eventually be identified. But from the terror
and despair of the dark trunk came salvation in the face of off-duty Fort Wayne
Detective, Art Billingsley, who happened to make a stop when he saw some
suspicious activity around the car. Ever since, Ms. Corrao was able to overcome
her own victimization and has dedicated her career to share the extraordinary
message of the profound impact that first responders have on victims to a broad
audience including law enforcement, medical personnel, clergy, criminal justice
students, prosecutors, and government officials.

More information about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Crime
Victims Fund, and victim assistance and compensation programs is available at:
www.ojp.gov.
 

-end- metroMAGAZINE

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