Dear Colleague:

Once again, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is coordinating the federal government's commemoration of National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) which is scheduled for April 19-25, 1998. The theme for the 1998 observance of NCVRW -- which was selected by a coalition of national victim advovacy groups -- is Victims' Rights: Right for America.

OVC's efforts in honor of NCVRW include producing a commemorative poster and a Resource Guide to help the field plan activities for the week, and co-sponsoring a number of national events during the week. In addition, we are soliciting nominations from the field for the National Crime Victim Service Awards, the highest Federal honor for victim advocacy. In making your nomination, we encourage you to recommend programs and individuals whose work has been particularly innovative and pioneering. Recipients of the 1998 awards will be honored in Washington, D.C. during NCVRW. Nominees should represent individuals or programs that have made significant contributions to the crime victims field in one or more of the following areas: direct services; helping to enact important public policy; successful partnerships for victims' rights and services; development of innovations in victim services; and advovacy and outreach. These categories are more fully described within this brochure.

Thank you for your help in identifying candidates and programs worthy to receive the National Crime Victim Service Award. Please send your nomination form and supporting materials to OVC no later than Friday, January 30, 1998. Together we can pay tribute to those individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others and who exemplify on a daily basis what is right for America. We look forward to receiving your nomination.

Best Regards -- Aileen Adams - Director and Carolyn Hightower - Deputy Director

Significance of The National Crime Victim Service Awards

As the discipline of crime victim services has grown over the past 25 years, so has the number of remarkable individuals and organizations that significantly contribute to its success. Today, the field has countless people and programs that, through vision, action and leadership, improve the lives of crime victims in the aftermath of crime.

Each year the President and Attorney General honor extraordinary individuals or programs who provide services to victims of crime through the prestigious National Crime Victim Service Awards, the highest Federal honor for victim advocacy. The Office for Victims of Crime within the U.S. Department of Justice coordinates the submission of nominations for programs and individuals whose work has been particularly innovative and pioneering, and who exemplify the long-term commitment that characterizes many of our nation's victim service providers, some of whom are themselves victims of crime. The award-winning nominees will be honored at a special ceremony held during National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Biographies can be found on the OVC's Home Page under "Justice for Victims."

About the Office for Victims of Crime

The Office for Victims of Crime was created in 1984 and formally established by a 1988 amendment to the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) to provide federal funds to support services for crime victims, training and technical assistance for the field, and to advocate for the fair treatment of crime victims. For more information about OVC, call the OVC Resource Center at 1-800-627-6872, or visit OVC's comprehensive Home Page at:

Nomination Categories

There are five categories that comprise the foundation of the National Crime Victim Service Awards:

  1. Direct Service
    An individual who has made a significant contribution to providing crucial victim services, which are the backbone of victim assistance.

  2. Public Policy
    An individual who has played a critical role in enacting public policy reforms to improve victims' rights and services, including federal, tribal, state, or local legislation or case law on behalf of crime victims.

  3. Successful Partnerships
    An innovative partnership that has been created at the federal, tribal, state, or local level -- across these jurisdictions -- to initiate programs or practices that improve victims' rights and services, including efforts to create coordinated multi-disciplinary approaches to serve victims of crime and unique public/private partnerships.

  4. Innovations In Victims Services
    A particularly innivative and replicable effort, including the use of technology, that has been implemented to serve crime victims in a new way, or to provide effective services to typically underserved victim population groups.

  5. Advocacy And Outreach
    An individual or program that, through creativity and hard work, has made tremendous strides in securing better services, assuring that victims are able to more readily access existing rights and services, or has reached out and provided services to underserved crime victims, such as victims with disabilities, victims of hate crimes, or victims living in rural and remote areas, including Indian Country.

Nomination Submission Guidelines

  1. If you, the nominator, are affiliated with an organization, you nomination letter should be submitted on official stationery and contain your signature, as well as your position/title, e.g. , Executive Direcotr. No anonymous nominations will be accepted.

  2. The nominee's full name, date of birth, social security number, title and agency affiliation (if applicable), address, telephone number, and signature must be submitted on the enclosed form.

  3. Your nomination letter should not exceed two single-spaced pages. It should reflect as much as you know about your nominee's accomplishments and services in support of crime victims. The nomination letter should address each of the following questions:

  4. Please keep in mind the five nomination categories described earlier as you write your letter, and note the primary category in which your individual or program is nominated.

  5. Please provide any additional information about the individual or program you are nominating that should be taken into consideration in the review process. Supporting documentation, such as newpaper articles or resumes, can be attached if it is pertinent to the nominee's contributions. Only letters of support submitted with the nomination form will be accepted.

  6. The entire nomination package, including supplemental information and letters of support, may not exceed 10 pages.

  7. Please provide an original and four copies of the entire nomination package.

    "I am so very proud to present this award to these men and women who devoted their lives to making a difference -- to making positive change -- for the benefit of others." - Attorney General Janet Reno

Eligibility Guidelines

  1. You may nominate one or more worthy candidates, including:
  2. Nominees can represent professionals and volunteers in both direct victim services and allied professions.

  3. Individuals nominated, but not selected, in previous years are also eligible for consideration.

  4. Elected officials are not eligible for consideration

Deadline for Submitting Nominations

You nomination form and supporting materials must be received no later than Friday, January 30, 1998. Your nomination package should be mailed to:

Office for Victims of Crime
Attention: National Crime Victims' Rights Week Committee
810 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20531.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about the National Crime Victim Service Awards nomination or selection process, please contact Diane Wells at (202) 307-5983. The OVC fax number is (202) 514-6383 or (202) 305-2440.

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