1999 CRIME VICTIM SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS
Trudy Gregorie's career in victim services spans 20 years, from her work as a local victim assistance provider to a nationally renowned trainer and spokesperson. During her 13 years as director of a prosecutor-based program in Charleston, South Carolina, Ms. Gregorie and her staff assisted more than 60,000 victims. Her work at the program won her an appointment to South Carolina's first task force on victim assistance. She later became a founding member of the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network, where she helped to win passage of a number of rights for victims. She went on to become the state's first Victim Ombudsman, which she developed into a model for the nation. As Training Director at the National Center for Victims of Crime, Ms. Gregorie developed a comprehensive manual for prosecutor-based victim assistance providers that continues to be referenced by thousands. Her work to improve the response of corrections agencies to victims has been regarded as revolutionary, and she was the first victim service professional ever to be elected to the Delegate Assembly of the American Correctional Association. Ms. Gregorie continues her service to victims through hundreds of training workshops every year.
Sharon Boyer has been active in the victims' rights movement and violence prevention since the murder of her youngest son, Kevin, in September 1990. As a volunteer for many years and later in a professional capacity, Ms. Boyer has worked to secure numerous reforms that benefit crime victims and to bring awareness of victims' needs and of violence prevention. In 1992, she was appointed to the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission as a victim representative to reform the state's felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile laws. Her ongoing legislative testimony, numerous committee and commission activities, and public leadership have assisted in winning a number of important measures for victims in Ohio, including enhanced rights for victims of violent crime, passage of a victims' constitutional amendment in 1994, improved victim services at the Ohio Department of Youth Services and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, and creation of many victim assistance and violence prevention initiatives. In 1995, Ms. Boyer became the Administrator of the Ohio Attorney General's Crime Victim Assistance Division. Under her leadership, Ohio has nearly doubled the number of victim-related grants it gives and has become among the first in the nation to implement a computerized statewide victim notification program. Ms. Boyer has also presented keynote speeches and workshops regarding victim issues on both the state and national levels. Ms. Boyer acknowledges that winning the award is a bittersweet victory to share with the victims of violent crime and victim service providers who have empowered her to speak for them.
Lieutenant Bill Walsh is a twenty-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, assigned to the Youth and Family Crimes Division. As commander of the Investigations Unit, he oversees the Child Abuse, Child Exploitation, and Family Violence Squads. Throughout his career, he has been involved in many activities that have improved the law enforcement response to victims of child abuse, sexual exploitation, and domestic violence. In 1988, he started the Child Exploitation Squad, a specialized team of detectives to investigate child sexual exploitation and child abductions. In 1989, he co-founded the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center, which provides for an effective multidisciplinary response to child abuse. That same year, he initiated the first annual Crimes against Children Conference, which has grown to be the largest law enforcement conference in the nation on the issue. In 1992, he started the first child death review team in the State of Texas and served on the state committee that drafted legislation on review teams. In 1997, he initiated the Sex Offender Apprehension Program (SOAP), a specialized team of detectives created to ensure that registered sex offenders comply with the state's sex offender registration law and the terms of their probation and parole. In 1998, he wrote a grant to the U.S. Department of Justice that funded the Dallas Police Department as one of the ten Internet Crimes against Children Task Forces in the country. Throughout his career, Lieutenant Walsh has received many awards for his work, including the 1990 Dallas Police Officer of the Year, the State of Texas Special Achievement Award for Public Service, and the 1998 Dallas Police Department Supervisor of the Year. He has published articles and lectured widely on the issues of crimes against children and family violence both nationally and internationally.
In 1978, at age 59, Harlie Wilson was shot during an armed robbery and left paralyzed from the waist down. Having been hospitalized for five and a half months following the shooting, he eventually incurred medical bills in excess of $800,000. After nearly losing his home and once being forced from the hospital several days early due to an unsettled bill, he and his wife Ruth began a grassroots effort that led to the establishment of the North Carolina Victim Compensation Fund, a resource that had been unavailable to him. In 1985, Mr. Wilson was named to the Governor's Crime Commission and in that capacity advocated for the right of victims to legal and financial advice as well as medical and psychological assistance. While serving on the Commission, he and his wife founded the first victim support group in the state, Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL), and the following year created the North Carolina Victim Assistance Network, a statewide nonprofit resource, advocacy, and training center with over 500 members. In addition to their continued work on behalf of victims, the Wilsons are active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mr. Wilson began the Mormon church in Statesville, North Carolina in 1948 and served as its first presiding elder for 11 years. He was also an ordained high priest and a district high councilman for 19 years.
Established in 1981, the Victim-Witness Assistance Program of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, the second largest prosecutor's office in the country, is one of the largest and most comprehensive prosecutor-based victim advocacy programs in the country, serving all victims and witnesses of felony crimes in the city of Chicago and its suburban districts. Richard A. Devine, who was First Assistant when the program was created and now serves as State's Attorney, accepts the award on behalf of the 73 specialists who serve thousands of victims each year. Two specialized units work solely with the juvenile delinquency calendars and the misdemeanor domestic violence and sexual assault courtrooms. The program also includes initiatives targeting underserved populations such as the elderly, disabled, and gays and lesbians. A typical day for a victim specialist will find him or her accompanying victims, their families, and witnesses to court, explaining unfamiliar vocabulary and procedures, sometimes staying late into the evening with trials, defusing anger and rage that often attend victimization, working with sheriffs to remove gang members or others who are intimidating witnesses from the courtroom, comforting distressed victims after not-guilty verdicts, working with domestic violence victims to create safety plans for escape, answering questions about the court process, and assisting victims and their families in writing victim impact statements and locating counseling and financial assistance. Victim specialists also co-facilitate eight homicide support groups per month, offering services to children, adolescents, and adults, as well as Spanish-speaking survivors. Among the program's more recent efforts are a support group for senior victims of violent crime and a Targeted Abusers Call program in its Domestic Violence Division which was recognized by the Violence Against Women Office in the U.S. Department of Justice as one of 20 promising practices in the entire nation.
Established in 1989, the Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC) offers myriad support services to Korean-American immigrants in the New York Metropolitan area who have been victimized by domestic violence. Drawing on the resources available from the New York Korean-American community and relying heavily on the work of volunteers, KAFSC has provided thousands of domestic violence victims and their children with one-on-one counseling, 24-hour crisis intervention, court advocacy and interpretation, employment assistance, and other opportunities for healing and empowerment. In addition, the Center offers community education workshops, a Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Program, a program for children with special emotional needs, English language classes, and a single mothers' self-help group. From September 1997 to August 1998, KAFSC assisted 683 clients.
Victim Advocates Reaching Out (VARO) has provided comprehensive services to crime victims since 1982. VARO offers crisis intervention 24 hours a day to victims of assault, domestic violence, and sexual assault, and survivors of homicide and suicide. Among its services are advocacy, transportation, shelter, emergency financial assistance, provision of clothing and personal care items, and referrals. VARO has been particularly active in reforming Guam's response to family violence, participating in the government's Family Violence Task Force and successfully lobbying for a bill to prevent the early release of family violence and sexual assault suspects. In addition to providing direct services to local communities, the military, and tourists, VARO provides intensive training for all uniformed and civilian law enforcement personnel and helps to guide the Governor's public safety policies.
SPECIAL COURAGE AWARD
On February 15, 1997, Amanda Lacey was returning home from a dance sponsored by her school's chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving when she was hit head-on by a drunk driver. Ms. Lacey, who is president of the chapter, was trapped in her car for almost an hour before she could be freed and was twice determined to be clinically dead. She suffered numerous serious injuries, was unable to eat for two months, and recently underwent her 18th surgical procedure since the crash. Ms. Lacey has used her experience as a platform for public safety. She participates in Victim Impact Panels sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, where she speaks before students and parents to warn them of the dangers of drinking and driving, and has given over 65 presentations. Ms. Lacey recently celebrated her 18th birthday.