The Foundation for Improvement of Justice, Inc.
July 1, 2016
The Foundation for Improvement of Justice is a private not-for-profit institution founded in 1984 for the purpose of improving local, state, and federal systems of justice within the United States of America, hosted its 31st awards banquet on September 24, 2016 at the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta. At the banquet we honored our 2016 Paul H. Chapman Award winners. Each year, the Foundation accepts nominations for the Paul H. Chapman Award to recognize and reward individuals or organizations whose innovative programs and work have made improvements in the various systems of justice. Over $2,550,000 in cash awards have been distributed since 1986. The year’s award winners are:
COURT EDUCATION PROGRAM (KIDDIE COURT), Capitol Heights, MD – is recognized for its unique training program that teaches children about the judicial process and helps to minimize trauma associated with adult court proceedings. Volunteers and trained advocates use a standardized curriculum that serves to improve children’s credibility when testifying in court. Over the last 10 years, survey results show that 99% of participant’s parents indicate that their children have experienced a reduced sense of fear and trauma in the courtroom.
DIRK C. MOORE, Victoria, TX – is recognized for his dedication and tireless work on his own time and at his own expense in identifying, studying and documenting an organized crime group. This group, known as the Travelers, targets the elderly through various scams. His efforts over the last 26 years has led to legal reform, crime prevention, enabled restitution for many victims, and made him a sought after expert who trains law enforcement officers throughout the United States.
FAMILY DESIGN RESOURCES, INC., Harrisburg, PA – is recognized for expediting the process that effectively reduced, by more than 11 months, the time children with a goal of adoption spent waiting for a permanent home. This groundbreaking program works closely with the court system, county agencies, state departments and other programs and today, after 20 years, this program has been replicated in 67 counties in Pennsylvania.
JULIA R. WILSON AND ONEJUSTICE, San Francisco, CA – is recognized for leading a statewide coalition that passed legislation that provided funding for innovations in bringing much needed legal services to low-income rural residents, immigrants, and veterans across California. Additionally, Ms. Wilson developed a network of legal services and law firms and other volunteers that donated their time and services serving the unmet legal needs via mobile legal clinics.
PRISON POLICY INITIATIVE, Easthampton, MA – is recognized in the areas of legal reform and lowering the cost for their work in the movement to repeal the Massachusetts law that suspended the driver’s licence of anyone convicted of a drug offense. Their persuasive report provided evidence of the law’s failure as a crime deterrent, how the law actually made the roads less safe, wasted state resources, and did not reduce recidivism rates.
WOMEN’S LAW PROJECT, Philadelphia, PA – is recognized for its work in legal reform and crime victims rights relating to sexual assault. They collaborated directly with police departments to improve the response to sex crimes and treatment of victims, revise coding manuals, protocols, and training. This effort was not only successful in Philadelphia, but nationally through the FBI at the federal level as a replicable model across the United States to improve police response to sexual assault.