The Foundation recognizes and awards up to ten nominees on an annual basis.

The awards package includes:

The Paul H. Chapman Gold Medal, a check for $10,000, a certificate of appreciation, and an invitation to an awards banquet in Atlanta, Georgia.

See our list of past Award Recipients

Click to sort by category

Alison Steele
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Legislative Reform Houston TX 2021
Alison Steele is recognized for her efforts in advocating for legislative reform that created the Coordinated Law Enforcement Adult Rescue (CLEAR) Alert, which closed the gap in Texas alert coverage between Amber Alerts and Silver Alerts. In October of 2017 Alison Steele’s only child, a sophomore in college, was abducted, sexually assaulted, and murdered. On the night of her kidnaping, several friends went in person to report the incident to local law enforcement but, police were unable to issue an Amber Alert because she was over the age of 18. Alison decided a change needed to be made in the Texas Alert system. She met with local victim advocates as well as numerous nonprofit public service groups including the Texas Center for the Missing and Texas Equusearch, search related agencies, and formed a legislative team to pursue CLEAR Alert legislation. Allison testified before both House and Senate committees during this process. The legislation passed nearly unanimously and Governor Greg Abbott signed it into law, making Texas the second state to enact such a statute. Alison established a nonprofit to educate the public on the CLEAR Alert system and to support law enforcement in its deployment.
Berkeley Law Policy Advocacy Clinic
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Legal Aid Berkeley CA 2021
Berkeley Law Policy Advocacy Clinic is recognized for its legal work in abolishing fines and fees in the juvenile legal system in California and Nevada. Beginning in 2012 the Clinic began researching this issue when families served by a local legal aid center began showing up with bills for thousands of dollars for nearly every aspect of their children’s involvement in the legal system. At the time, 57 of 58 counties in California charged one or more fees to the families of youth in the juvenile system. In 2016 the Clinic researched and wrote a pathbreaking report revealing the effects of juvenile fees and fines on the families. Collaborating with other advocacy groups, they persuaded several large counties to end fee assessment and collection. However, not satisfied with local reform, the clinic led a coalition of co-sponsors to introduce legislation. Initially the bill stalled, but was reintroduced with additional co-sponsors and organizational support, after more research was done and a new clinic report introduced. As a result SB 190 was passed, signed into law and became effective January 1, 2018. This change has relieved hundreds of thousands of youth and their families of more than $360 million in previously assessed fees. The Policy Advocacy Clinic is helping to launch a national campaign to abolish fines and fees in the juvenile justice system in all states.
Elizabeth Smart
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Crime Prevention Child Protection Holladay UT 2021
Elizabeth Smart is recognized for her advocacy and work in crime prevention and child protection. In June 2002, at the age of 14, Elizabeth Smart was kidnaped, sexually assaulted and held prisoner. Fortunately, she was rescued in March of 2003. Her abductors were charged and eventually convicted of their crimes. When one abductor was sentenced, Elizabeth recognized that many victims are silent after tragic criminal actions. She used her experience to give voice to the silent epidemic and take power away from being a victim by testifying in 2010 against the seconded abductor. Elizabeth leveraged this tragedy to start her journey of advocacy, and in 2011 starting the Elizabeth Smart Foundation. This non-profit works and partners with various organizations to educate them on crimes against children and prevent victimization. Elizabeth was a vocal campaigner and vital part of the passing of Utah’s HB 286 (Erin’s Law) in 2014. Her guide to healing after trauma was published in 2018 and after being sexually assaulted on a plane in 2019 she created a Smart Defense course.
Florida Justice Institute
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Treatment Miami FL 2021
Florida Justice Institute is recognized for their successful litigation to obtain Hepatitis C treatment for more than 8,000 incarcerated people. After extensive investigation, The Florida Justice Institute (FJI) found that the corrections department, which housed nearly 100,000 prisoners, had provided treatment to almost none of those incarcerated and had no plan in place to test, evaluate or treat those with Hepatitis C. In May of 2017, FJI filed a class action law suit asking for immediate treatment for the sickest inmates and for the corrections department to develop and implement a plan to test, evaluate, monitor, and treat Hepatitis C. Five month later, after a preliminary injunction was requested and an evidentiary hearing conducted, the Court granted their request. This order was the first of its kind in the country. After additional discoveries, a second request of the Court was made and in May of 2019 was granted. To date over 8,000 prisoners have been treated for Hepatitis C, around 150,000 have been tested and tens of thousands more are being monitored and staged for treatment.
Harriet Salarno
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Victims' Advocacy Auburn CA 2021
Harriet Salarno is recognized for her tireless work on behalf of crime victims and their families. Harriet Salarno’s oldest daughter was murdered execution stye by her boyfriend on her first day at college in September, 1979. Upon being thrust into the criminal justice system, Harriet soon realized the victims of crime had no voice or rights in the judicial system. Soon afterward she began working with legislators to change the system. Over the years Harriet has led the way in fighting for crime victims’ rights. She co-chaired the 1982 Crime Victims Bill of Rights ballot initiative and founded a non-profit called Crime Victims United in 1982. She has served on state advisory boards and local commissions. Harriet also advocated for passage of several propositions and laws in including the 1984 Three Strike initiative and Marsy’s Law in 2008 which wrote victims’ rights into the state constitution. Harriet has been honored Numerous times for her hard work, dedication and accomplishments.
James Dold
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Child Protection Legal Reform Washington DC 2021
James Dold is recognized for his accomplishments in child protection and legal reform. James Dold is the CEO and founder of Human rights For Kids (HRFK), a non profit that employs an innovative approach to accelerate the adoption of policy reforms on human rights impacting children across the country. Prior to the founding of HRFK, James used his “Ripples of Hope” strategy to unite republican and democrat policymakers and other advocates to successfully facilitate the passage of more than 40 anti-human trafficking laws in 20 states in just three years. Those same eleven legislators now serve along side James on the board of HRFK. Since 2017 this non-profit has successfully advocated for the introduction of more than two dozen child rights bills across the country which resulted in the passage of child rights laws in several states. Those reforms include access to education and rehabilitation programs, ending mandatory minimum sentences, retroactively ending life and defacto life without parole sentences, increased due process protections prior to interrogations, the end to lifetime supervision, and restoring voting right of formerly incarcerated youth.
Oklahoma Interviewing Services
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Child Protection Oklahoma City OK 2021
Oklahoma Interviewing Services is recognized for their work in child protection and speeding the process in the area of forensic interviewing of children and vulnerable adults. Oklahoma Interviewing Services (OIS), a non-profit organization that was established in 2005. OIS provides not only forensic interviewing services, but also conducts national and international forensic interviewing training, coordinates peer review for interviewers, and provides expert testimony in child abuse cases when needed. In March of 2016 funding for a mobile interviewing unit, a 40' RV named Joey, was secured which allowed OIS to expand services to rural areas, provide for families that had transportation or resource issues, and to support law enforcement agencies with limited personnel and budgets. Additionally, the mobile unit provides a specially trained team and a comprehensive facility to conduct and record interviews. This reduces the need for multiple interviews, which, as research shows, can lead to less reliable testimony. Joey is also equipped with closed circuit capabilities to further reduce the anxiety and trauma of having to testify in a courtroom.
Parabon NanoLabs
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Innovative Technology Reston VA 2021
Parabon NanoLabs is recognized for significant innovations for analyzing DNA. Genetic Genealogy and phenotypes data mining/modeling are revolutionizing forensic investigations and Parabon NanoLabs is at the forefront of utilizing these techniques for DNA analysis. Parabons’s cutting-edge forensic service Snapshot incorporates traditional Genetic Genealogy (searching public databases and building family trees), phenotyping (predicting physical appearance and ancestry), and kinship analysis (determines relatedness out to six degrees) on DNA samples. Since May of 2018 hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the world have been using Snapshot to generate leads, narrow suspect pools, and identify/solve human remains cases, in both active and cold case investigations. To date, over 165 persons-of-interest cases have been positively identified.
Tzedek DC
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Legal Reform Washington DC 2021
Tzedek DC is recognized for accomplishments in legal reform and lowering the cost. “Tzedek”, which means justice in Hebrew, was launched in 2017 to address unmet needs for legal services for low and moderate income DC residents dealing with debt collection practices and other consumer protection problems. Since their start, Tzedek has worked with other local agencies and collaborated with DC council members to bring about policy reforms. Working to end automatic suspension of driver licences for unpaid traffic debt, they helped pass the Driver’s License Revocation Fairness Amendment Act of 2017, thereby restoring the driving privileges of 65,000 people. Additionally, Tzedek , helped develop the Wage Garnishment Fairness Amendment Act of 2018, which legislated changes to the regressive rules governing wage garnishments. And through direct legal services, Tzedek has served over 2000 client households saving them an average of $2151 per debt collection case.
Alaska Native Justice Center
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Anchorage AK 2019
Alaska Native Justice Center is recognized for their efforts in advocating for legislative reform to fix their state's gaps in sexual offense laws. Established in 1993, the Alaska Native Justice Center advocates for local and state changes promoting justice for Alaska native people. In 2018, the Alaska Native Justice Center successfully brought two resolutions before the State Federation of Alaska natives leading Alaska lawmakers to propose and pass legislation that rectified loopholes in sentencing structure and better protected native people and others from predators.
Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities (AVID)
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Seattle WA 2019
Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities (AVID) is recognized for its innovated approach in reforming how county and state jails deal with their disabled inmates. Founded in 2014, AVID investigates allegations of abuse, neglect and rights violations, and when substantiated, advocates for change with corrections administrators. Using "structured negotiations" they have been able to stop jails from denying psychiatric medication and therapy, segregating inmates with disabilities and punishing people for self harm, all without litigation.
John Bair
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Buffalo NY 2019
John Bair is recognized for his efforts to reform funding sources for plaintiffs when seeking justice through lawsuit litigation. John and his wife Amy founded Bairs Foundation in 2017 to be an alternative to for-profit lending companies who only lend to individuals going through a lawsuit at nearly usurious interest rates. The Bairs Foundation, the only one of its type in the country, provides a low-cost simple interest rate funding option for plaintiffs and their families. To date this organization has served over 225 families providing over $1.7 million in loans of which 99.5% have been paid back.
Florida Justice Technology Center
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Tallahassee FL 2019
Florida Justice Technology Center is recognized for their innovative "tech" approach to providing access to justice. Launched in 2015, the Florida Justice Technology Center (FJTC) created online tools that provide legal issue education, DIY documents assistance on solving problems themselves, and when and how to seek out legal aid help. Website evaluations for 2018 showed they reached nearly 400,000 unique visitors, served 20,000 low-income residents with an estimated savings of $65,000. Additionally, FJTC connects the legal aid community across the state providing subscribers access to resource libraries, downloadable legal document templates that helps to coordinate consistent policies, and further saving attorney time by streamlining delivery of information to justice advocates.
Vicki Sokolik
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Tampa FL 2019
Vicki Sokolik is recognized for her work with local homeless youth. Vicki began working with one homeless student at a time helping them to secure housing, employment, graduate high school, and complete college and scholarship applications. In 2007 after the city mayor approached her, she took her efforts city wide, opening Starting Right, Now, a comprehensive program for homeless unaccompanied youths. Advocating for her students' ability to obtain essential documents and health care services led to advocating and promoting changes in laws. Vicki successfully worked with senators and representatives to pass legislation to enable unaccompanied youth to access their birth certificate, social security card, expedited emancipation, college tuition waivers and medicaid.
Violence Intervention Program
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Baltimore MD 2019
Violence Intervention Program is recognized for its hospital-based intervention program created to help stop the revolving door phenomenon of young gunshot victims and reduce the cost of violence. Founded in the 1990's, the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) is introduced bedside by case managers who guide the clients through the program phases helping to move them from crisis, through goal development, into solidification of pro-social values, ending in maintenance and becoming a community role-model. Annually since 1998, the program has served approximately 1,600 clients and in 2018 out of the more than 1,300 clients seen by case managers, only two incidences of return were noted. Working with the state's Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to increase the approval rate of applications has further reduced the cost of violence. Recent legislation recognized VIP as the innovator and leader in its field and made funding available to replicate their model.
Ayuda's Project Eradicating Notario Deceit, (Project END)
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Crime Victims' Rights Crime Prevention Effecting Restitution Effecting Restitution Washington DC 2018
Ayuda's Project Eradicating Notario Deceit, (Project END) is recognized for its pioneering Project END which combats notario fraud in immigrant populations. Since its start in 2013 this program has represented over two-hundred victims of notario fraud by writing demand letters, provided victim accompaniment at criminal trials, liaised with law enforcement to collect evidence and prepare victims to testify, and sought restitution for victims. Project END “Sneaky Snake” character and memes share warning signs of notario fraud in short videos that have been distributed to service providers and media outlets. Since the project’s inception they have helped launch four other projects in other states and successfully drafted a state notario fraud statue which passed in 2017.
Summer Chappell
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Crime Prevention Bartlett TN 2018
Summer Chappell is recognized for developing curriculum and conducting training for both the Memphis and Shelby County Police Departments. The training provides understanding about deaf culture, resources in the community, how to use a sign language interpreter, and how to communicate using American Sign Language. Drawing upon her personal experience of having deaf family members, while completing her Master’s of Psychology degree she began to develop curriculum and peruse training for local law enforcement personnel. Several years and proposals later, the first training session was conducted in January 2017 and to date, over 600 officers have participated. She also developed a “visor card” which provides a quick and efficient means of communicating with the hearing impaired.
Max Kenner
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Reducing Recidivism Other Significant Efforts Annandale-on Hudson NY 2018
Max Kenner is recognized for his innovative program which brought access to higher education and effective solutions to the criminal justice system. In 1999, at age twenty while attending Bard College, Max Kenner founded the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) and serves as executive director. He brought the same rigorous standards of study as on campus of the liberal arts program to prison students. BPI currently enrolls more than 300 students across six prisons in NY state, has awarded approximately 400 Bard College degrees and has a recidivism rate of less than 2% which is significantly lower than national averages. Partnering with major universities/colleges in fifteen states, BPI is a national model for college-in-prison initiatives.
Richard Pompelio
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Crime Victims' Rights Legal Reform Starta NJ 2018
Richard Pompelio is recognized for his extensive work in crime victim’s rights advocacy. After building a successful law practice for a number of years, in 1989 his world was shattered when his 17-year old son was murdered when he came to the aid af a young woman who was being attacked. In the aftermath of this tragedy, Richard Pompelio became actively involved in victims’ rights and in 1991 he assisted in drafting New Jersey’s Victim’s Rights Constitutional Amendment. The following year he closed his law practice and founded the New jersey Crime Victim Law Center, the first such center in the US dedicated to pro bono representation of victims of violent crime. To date, he has provided pro bono services to over 20,000 victims of violence, drafted much of the victims’ rights legislation including 25 passed and several pending bills, and has served as the inspiration for numerous other victim’s rights centers across the nation.
Amanda Thomashow
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Other Significant Effots East Lancing MI 2018
Amanda Thomashow is recognized for her courage, perseverance, and subsequent advocacy for victims of sexual assault. In 2014, while attending graduate school, she was sexually assaulted by the university’s well-known, and then internationally highly revered, medical professional. She worked up the courage and reported the assault. Her report prompted the first Title IX investigation, which cleared him, and the first university police criminal investigation, where prosecutors declined to charge him. Unbeknownst to her, she was neither his first victim nor was she the only one to report him. Amanda Thomashow is one of the hundreds of “sister survivors” abused by this doctor. In the past year an investigative exposé, child pornography charges, and a federal lawsuit by other victims were filed and this doctor was tried and convicted. Since giving her victim impact statement at the doctor’s January 2018 sentencing, she has dedicated herself to helping survivors by joining with others to advocate for societal change to give voice to those who report abuse, rather than protect or enable those who commit sexual assault.
Courthouse Dogs Foundation
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Other Significant Efforts Legal Reform Child Protection Child Protection Bellevue WA 2017
Courthouse Dogs Foundation is recognized for its unique program that brings trained service dogs into the courtroom to help calm and comfort witnesses and victims enabling them to be better able to testify accurately. This foundation is dedicated to educating legal professionals about the benefits of this innovative practice, providing advice about developing best practices for courthouse programs, and connecting them with certified assistance dog training programs. They began with one assistance dog in a Juvenile Drug Court in 2003 and today have 140 dogs in 36 states.
Krysta's Karing Angels
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Crime Prevention Cypress TX 2017
Krysta's Karing Angels is recognized for efforts to educate the public and prevent tragedies that result from driving drunk. After the loss of their daughter to a drunk driver, Mark & Terri Rodriguez formed this organization in order to bring attention to and educate the public about the horrors that result from driving drunk. Additionally, they provide emotional support and court accompaniment to affected families. Since the founding, they have spoken at and participated in over 400 events/conferences state-wide and nationally where they display wrecked vehicles from drunk driving accidents to show the impact on victim's lives.
Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center
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Crime Victims' Rights Legal Reform Powell OH 2017
Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center is recognized for its work with crime victims. The Center provides free legal representation for victims of crime to ensure that their constitutional rights are recognized and protected. They also offer free training to hospitals, law enforcement, attorneys, judges and the community on the rights of victims. In addition to these services, founder Cathy Harper Lee, developed The Crime Victim's Rights Toolkit, which allows victims of crime the ability to keep up with their case online. The Center was also instrumental in getting "Marsy's Law", a proposed constitutional amendment, on the Ohio November ballot.
Dr. Mark W. Perlin
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Other Significant Efforts Lowering the Cost Speeding the Process Speeding the Process Pittsburgh PA 2017
Dr. Mark W. Perlin is recognized for his invention, development and use of TrueAllele® technology. This computer technology automated the task of interpreting genotypes in DNA. Additionally, the automation increased the speed, removed human bias, and surpassed crime lab limitations in reliably processing evidence. In over 400 cases to date, Dr. Perlin and his company, Cybergenetics, founded in 1994, has worked with police, crime labs, prosecutors, defense and innocence groups helping to prosecute the guilty and exonerate the innocent. “Justice through better science”, the company motto, fits perfectly.
The First 72+
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Reducing Recidivism New Orleans LA 2017
The First 72+ is recognized for reducing recidivism through their transitional housing and reentry program. Their services begin from the moment of release providing transportation, clothes, food, and support navigating the reentry process. The center partners with a local medical school to provide healthcare and the local public defender’s office for legal support. They also host regular social events that provides opportunity for residents and participants in the program to interact with the community. The First 72+ has worked with over 40 residents and 100 non-residents of whom they boast that none of them have returned to prison and all of their graduates are expected to remain involved in order to “pay it forward”.
Tyler Shultz
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Other Significant Efforts Los Gatos CA 2017
Tyler Shultz is recognized for exposing fraudulent diagnostic blood testing results that were analyzed on unreliable proprietary machines produced by the company that employed him. Within months of working for the start-up tech company, Tyler noticed that results of blood tests run on the same sample varied widely. When his concerns were brought to the attention of the CEO, Tyler was assured that all was well and was directed to ignore the issues. Not satisfied, he took his concerns to a public health lab in another state, which validated his suspicions. Subsequently, an exposeʹ on the tech company was published and shortly thereafter, a drugstore chain that had contracted to use the tech companies machines canceled their order and is now suing the company. His actions as a whistle-blower served to prevent thousands of people from receiving inaccurate blood results/diagnosis.
Dirk C. Moore
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Crime Prevention Effecting Restitution Victoria TX 2016
Dirk C. Moore 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.
Kiddie Court-Court Education Program
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Child Protection Other Significant Efforts Capitol Heights MD 2016
Kiddie Court-Court Education Program 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.
Legal Partnership for Permanency of Family Design Resources, Inc.
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Speeding the Process Child Protection Harrisburg PA 2016
Legal Partnership for Permanency of Family Design Resources, Inc. 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
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Lowering the Cost Other Significant Efforts San Francisco CA 2016
Julia R. Wilson and OneJustice 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
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Legal Reform Lowering the Cost Easthampton MD 2016
Prison Policy Initiative 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
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Crime Victims' Rights Legal Reform Philadelphia PA 2016
Women's Law Project 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.
Conservator Account Auditing Program
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St. Paul MN 2015
Conservator Account Auditing Program is recognized for modernizing and improving the way the state of Minnesota oversees the work of conservators by implementing a first-of-its-kind online accounting system for conservators as well as establishing a centralized statewide conservator account auditing center staffed by trained experts leading to a reduction of paperwork and stronger oversight of conservator accounts.
Honorable Michael Denton
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Austin TX 2015
Honorable Michael Denton is recognized for his work advocating for and overseeing the first Travis County Domestic Violence Court. He has been the sole judge to preside over that court since its establishment in 1999. Initially the court handled civil protective order hearings and criminal misdemeanor cases but added felony criminal cases five years ago. He has been recognizes on local, state and national levels and shares his expertise and knowledge through conferences to judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, state legislators, advocates and survivors
Latino Union
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Chicago IL 2015
Latino Union is recognized for their efforts over the past fifteen years working in coalition with other Chicago and Illinois organizations to win numerous legal reforms expanding marginalized and informal workers= access civil law remedies for injustices experienced on the job. Latino Union led the Just Pay for All Coalition in passing the reforms to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collections Act in 2010 that are among the strongest protections in the nation. They have also given thousands of low-income and immigrant workers the tools to seek justice through education and aid filing forms.
Richard Ravosa, Esq.
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Boston MA 2015
Richard Ravosa, Esq. is recognized for his pro-bono work with low income clients needing bankruptcy relief beginning in 2009. In 2011 with the help of his staff, they formed the charitable Debt Relief Foundation, the only one in the state dedicated exclusively to representing residents in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings. They also assist client in completing credit counseling and financial management courses. Mr. Ravosa funded nearly 100% of these services out of his own pocket until the foundation received 501(c)(3) status in 2013 allowing them to raise funds to continue to grow the organization. These services help reduce congestion in state courts and because they are handled by experienced bankruptcy lawyers, speed the process.
Rehabilitation Through th Arts
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Katonah NY 2015
Rehabilitation Through th Arts is recognized for its success in reducing recidivism in prisons and changing the lives of a population with little hope for a meaningful future. Professional artist volunteers teach classes in five maximum and medium men=s and women=s prisons in theatre, dance, music, voice, creative writing and visual arts. Participants build personal, social, and cognitive life skills critical to functioning in all aspects of life inside and outside prison. A theater program for at-risk youth and a program to join former prisoners with professionals to create an original play about the challenges of re-entering society were recently launched.
Antoinette Tuff
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Crime Prevention Other Significant Efforts Atlanta GA 2014
Antoinette Tuff is recognized for her heroic actions when a man armed with an AK 47 entered the school where she was working and took her hostage. Her calm voice, quick thinking and compelling compassion towards the gunman resulted in saving countless lives in the building of 800 students, faculty and staff members. She was able to persuade the would-be shooter to surrender and talked him through the process as he surrendered to police. The police never even spoke directly with the gunman. Experienced hostage negotiators applauded her performance, and many have praised her amazing grace under pressure.
Julio Medina
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Reducing Recidivism Crime Prevention New York NY 2014
Julio Medina is recognized for his vision, leadership and perseverance founding EXODUS, Transitional Community, Inc., a faith-based, non-profit organization that provides supportive services to formerly incarcerated men and women in order to help them reintegrate into their communities. They have served over 7,000 men and women addressing the unique needs of individuals facing re-entry from securing employment to emotional and spiritual support. The recidivism rate of program participants is under 10% annually. The recidivism rate for the re-entry population statewide in 2009 was 41%.
Jeff Bauer and The Family Partnership
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Legal Reform Crime Victims' Rights Minneapolis MN 2014
Jeff Bauer and The Family Partnership are recognized for protecting vulnerable children and advancing crime victims’ rights by successfully leading the 2011 passage of the Safe Harbor law in Minnesota. The law prevents child sex trafficking victims from being prosecuted for prostitution thereby protecting them from being criminalized due to their exploitation. In addition, they drove the creation of the innovative No Wrong Door safe shelter and supportive services model in 2012 and in 2013 secured the largest state budget allocation in the entire nation to fund it.
Honorable James M. Mize
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Speeding the Process Lowering Costs Sacramento CA 2014
Honorable James M. Mize is recognized for his innovative response to severe backlogs and budget cuts by designing and implementing a new One Day Divorce program in the County Superior Court. Cases that sometime took years to complete are now done virtually on-the-spot, clearing crowded dockets, conserving scarce resources and saving litigants from missing work and family obligations due to repeated trips to the courthouse. Volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and law students assist litigants prior to their day in court by preparing all the necessary paperwork. It is the first and only program of its kind in California.
Victims of Crime and Leniencey
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Crime Victims' Rights Legal Reform Montgomery AL 2014
Victims of Crime and Leniencey is recognized for championing the rights of crime victims in the state of Alabama. Organized in 1982, it is responsible for the passage of twenty-three crime victims’ rights laws in Alabama. Before the organization of VOCAL there were no crime victims’ rights in Alabama. In addition to legislative advocacy, VOCAL also provides victim assistance from the onset of the crime throughout the entire journey through the criminal judicial system including crime-scene-clean-up, courtroom advocates, lodging at their center for victims to attend pardon and parole hearing and trials, aid completing compensation forms and counseling services.
Texas Loves Children dba Child Protection Connection
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Child Protection Apeeding the Process Dallas TX 2014
Texas Loves Children dba Child Protection Connection is recognized for transforming how child abuse cases are handled across Texas by creating an Online Legal Resource and Communication Center or the “Online Center”. The Online Center harnesses expertise across the state and brings it to the fingertips of judges and attorney’s handling child abuse cases for free twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It provides access to psychological, medical, and legal resources from national and state experts and allows judges and attorneys a secure communication tool enabling them to discuss ideas for improving the system, ask questions and mentor less experienced colleagues. They have replicated the Online Center for four other states.
Jamie Esparaza
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El Paso TX 2013
Jamie Esparaza is recognized for creating the innovative 24 Hour Contact Program. As District Attorney for the 34th Judicial District in Texas, he recognized the need to “get smarter” on handling domestic violence cases in hopes of improving prosecution efforts and victim services. The program, which began in 2008 and is the first of its kind in the country, accelerates evidence collection and prosecution, allows for victimless prosecution, increases effectiveness and preparedness of prosecutors, and assesses the well-being of victims and offers them information on resources available to them. The program has been presented at conferences around the country as a “Best Practice” model.
Melinda Aguilar
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Houston TX 2013
Melinda Aguilar is recognized for her bravery and presence of mind that ended the killing spree of serial killer Coral Eugene Watts in 1982 and her efforts in the years that followed to prevent his release from prison in 2002 through bringing media attention to the case as well as testifying against him in a 2004 Michigan murder trial helping ensure justice for his victims.
David Goldman
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Monmouth County NJ 2013
David Goldman is recognized for his work as a Director and Co-Founder of the Bring Sean Home Foundation whose mission is “to assist victims of international child abduction, educate the public about the issue, prevent further abductions and draw attention to the increasing number of cases that currently exist with the purpose of returning abducted children to their home countries and reuniting them with their left-behind families.” It began with David’s own five and a half year civil fight to return his abducted son to the United States. In May of 2013 after testimony from David Goldman and others, the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2013 was introduced by Congressman Chris Smith and has been passed on to the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Christopher J. Schmidt
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St. Louis MO 2013
Christopher J. Schmidt is recognized for his pro-bono work trying international abduction cases under the Hague Convention. He has successfully won five different cases and resolved additional cases without going to trial. He continues to take on new cases and in addition counsels younger lawyers at his firm to do the same. Because of his efforts, the State Department has listed his firm, Bryan Cave LLP, as a “preferred” law firm for handling international abduction cases. He also won a National Award of Merit from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for his work in this area.
Ex-Prisoner and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement
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Worcester MA 2013
Ex-Prisoner and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement is recognized for its leadership in the struggle to reform Massachusetts’ Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system. A law, passed in 2010, prohibits job applications from including questions about a person’s criminal record and reduces the time a person has to wait to seal a criminal record. Over the past two years since passage of the law, EPOCA received funding to train an organization in another state to organize for criminal records reform and they continue to work on regulation, implementation and enforcement of the law.
Sergeant Jason Teague
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Hoschton GA 2013
Sergeant Jason Teague is recognized for his heroism and actions that helped prevent a tragic injustice from being perpetrated on five firefighters taken hostage after they responded to what they thought was a “medical emergency”. Teague was the senior team leader of the tactical group in the successful hostage rescue of these firefighters. He was injured during the rescue. Teague is a supervisor of the Gwinnett County Police Department’s K-9 unit and volunteer member of the county’s SWAT team. He is internationally recognizes for his skill and expertise with firearms and teaches part-time as firearms instructor for the GCPD Academy.
Florida Bar Foundation
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Other Significant Efforts Orlando FL 2012
Florida Bar Foundation is recognized for its innovative and influential models and programs to help improve the civil and criminal justice systems throughout Florida and the nation and its commitment to ensuring justice for all. It was the first organization in the nation to implement the Interest on Trust Accounts program and has distributed more than $293 million over the past 27 years from IOTA accounts to provide chiefly civil legal services for the poor in Florida.
Hope House
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Reducing Recidivism Other Significant Efforts Washington DC 2012
Hope House is recognized for creating programs that strengthen bonds between fathers in prisons far from home and their families by hosting free, week long summer camps for children where they spend several hours each day inside the prison bonding with their fathers through art, activities and sports. Studies show that prisoners who remain in contact with their families while incarcerated have a lower recidivism rate. In addition they have found significantly less misconduct among prisoners who participate in the Hope House program than a matched control group.
National Immigrant Justice Center
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Legal Reform Other Significant Efforts Chicago IL 2012
National Immigrant Justice Center is recognized for its work over the past 30 years, providing comprehensive legal services to ensure fair and humane treatment for asylum seekers while setting national precedents for protecting human rights within U.S. borders. They have developed a pro bono network of more than 1,000 attorneys.
National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) Team
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Speeding the Process Crime Victims Rights Other Significant Efforts Other Significant Efforts Washington DC 2012
National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) Team is the first national online searchable database of available information on missing persons and unidentified human remains. It is accessible to the general public as well as law enforcement, medical examiners, and coroners. It has contributed to the resolution of numerous missing person and unidentified remains cases since it became fully operational in 2009.
Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center
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Crime Victims' Rights Legal Reform Upper Marlboro MD 2012
Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center is recognized for pioneering the legal representation of crime victims in the state of Maryland by helping to pass more than 80 pieces of state legislation including a state constitutional amendment for crime victims’ rights. It is Maryland’s only statewide non-profit agency providing free, comprehensive support services to all victims of all types of crimes.
National Crime Victim law Institute
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Crime Victims' Rights Legal Reform Portland OR 2012
National Crime Victim law Institute is recognized for advancing the rights of crime victims on a national level through litigation, education and advocating for public policy reform. Over the past 10 years they have launched 12 pro bono legal clinics providing nationwide training on the “how to” of victims’ rights enforcement. The clinics have raised awareness of victims’ rights with prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys and police officials.
Minnesota Court Payment Center Project
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St. Paul MN 2011
Minnesota Court Payment Center Project is recognized for centralizing the processing of payable citations, such as traffic citations, ordinance violations, or Department of Natural Resources violations, for 85 of Minnesota’s 87 counties. When fully implemented, it will be responsible for processing two-thirds of the state’s caseload and receipting approximately $100,000,000 in revenue annually.
Richard L. Hyde
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Atlanta GA 2011
Richard L. Hyde is recognized for his work as sole investigator for the Judicial Qualifications Commission of Georgia. In the last three years, his investigations of judicial malfeasance have triggered the resignation or removal of 21 judges statewide, including two in one day. In 2010, he was the first non-lawyer to be named “Newsmaker of the Year” by the Daily Report due to the substantial impact he had on Georgia’s Judicial System.
Claudia Barnes and Kellie Wiggins
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Legal Reform Crime Victims' Rights Atlanta & West Georgia GA 2011
Claudia Barnes and Kellie Wiggins are recognized for their courage, dedication and perseverance in representing crime victims in Georgia. They are both Board Members of the Crime Victims Advocacy Council and lead support groups for homicide co-victims. They worked diligently to help change laws regarding crime victims in Georgia by testifying in Senate and House of Representative committee hearings regarding SB 151 the Victim Impact Bill and HB 567 the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights law.
The Women's Cancer Legal Project
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Atlanta GA 2011
The Women's Cancer Legal Project is recognized for its pro bono work with low-income female cancer patients by providing representation or legal advice to patients, survivors and caregivers to address their civil legal issues. It assists with writing wills, guardianship for minor children and execution of health directives as well as linking clients to public benefits. The project handled 236 cases in 2010.
William Custer and Holly Pierson
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Atlanta GA 2011
William Custer and Holly Pierson are recognized for their pro bono victory in 2010 when the Supreme Court of Georgia overturned the murder conviction of their client and set him free after seven years in prison. The young man was wrongfully convicted of felony murder in the accidental shooting death of his brother while hunting on their family farm.
Kids First Law Center
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Cedar Rapids IA 2011
Kids First Law Center is recognized for providing legal representation to children of high-conflict divorce with the goals of reducing the conflict to which children are exposed, improving parents’ cooperation and communication, connecting families to needed services and making children’s voices heard. The Center also provides workshops for children whose parents are divorcing.
Illinois Legal Aid Online
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Chicago IL 2010
Illinois Legal Aid Online is recognized as a national leader in setting the standard for the development of technology and legal information used in the delivery of legal services to the poor. The Virtual Legal Self-Help Center provides comprehensive legal information, self-help resources, and referrals to free and low-cost legal services. There are over 90,000 visits to this website every month.
Brad Dennis
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Pensacola FL 2010
Brad Dennis is recognized for his efforts to locate missing and abducted children since 1993. He is currently the National Director of Search Operations for KlaasKids Foundation, serving hundreds of families of missing children by managing searches, counseling, consulting, and advocating on their behalf.
Suzanne F. Sawyer
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Camdenton MO 2010
Suzanne F. Sawyer is recognized for her work with C.O.P.S., Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. Ms. Sawyer is a co-founder and the Executive Director of this national organization whose mission is to rebuild the shattered lives of surviving families and affected co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
Charles Weiss, Stephen Snodgrass and James Wyrsch
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ST. Louis MO 2010
Charles Weiss, Stephen Snodgrass and James Wyrsch are recognized for their work in pursuing the freedom of an innocent man. It was the first non-DNA case in the state in which a trial court jury convicted the defendant, the conviction was affirmed on appeal, and then these three attorneys proved his innocence.
Karen Bateman and Diane Reeve
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West Valley City/Plano UT/TX 2010
Karen Bateman and Diane Reeve are recognized for their pursuit of justice in the court system after they discovered that they had contracted HIV from the same man. It is thanks to their efforts that this man was arrested and convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Madison County Veterans Court
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Edwardsville IL 2010
Madison County Veterans Court is recognized for keeping veterans out of criminal court and offering alternative sentencing. This special court program is run entirely by veterans, allowing a better understanding of the plight of veterans trying to assimilate back into our society.
Erie Earn-It Program
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Effecting Restitution Reducing Recidivism Lowering the Cost Lowering the Cost Erie PA 2009
Erie Earn-It Program was implemented in 1981 with the mission "to hold court-referred youth accountable to their victims and the community by operating a program that provides employment/learning opportunities for restitution, community service and the development of skills to become responsible citizens". This non-profit restitution program has expanded its programs through the support of the Erie community and has recorded 94% of all closed cases having paid their victims in full.
Barbara Bently
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Legal Reform Walnut Creek CA 2009
Barbara Bently is recognized for her tireless quest for justice after becoming victimized emotionally, physically and financially from her previous psychopathic husband. The judicial system convicted him of attempted murder after he pinned her to a bed and tried
to smother her with a rag doused in ether. However, California’s no-fault divorce law required her to make alimony payments to him even though he was convicted of such a crime and was serving time in prison. Ms. Bentley pursued to change state law for future victims. In August of 1995, Assembly Bill 16 was signed and came into effect in January 1996. This legislative landmark prevents future men and women convicted of such crime to collect financial support such as alimony, victim’s retirement, health and/or life insurance benefits.
Polaris Project
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Washington DC 2009
Polaris Project was the vision of two Brown University seniors, Katherine Chon and Derek Ellerman. The Polaris Project is a non-profit service agency that was established in 2002. This successful and effective group offers a comprehensive array of services to victims of human trafficking, sex trafficking and labor trafficking with local, national and international programs. The Polaris Project works to coordinate the efforts of law enforcement and social service agencies, health care organizations, shelters, pro bono attorneys, immigration officials, educators, lawmakers and the public. It is known as one of today's largest anti-human trafficking organizations.
Wayne Fortin
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San Marcos CA 2009
Wayne Fortin is recognized for his proven works and the positive impact he has made to victims of trauma. In 1985, Mr. Fortin founded the Trauma Intervention Program as a non
profit organization designed to provide support to victims of trauma within the community after a career as a psychotherapist and seeing the need of having immediate emotional and practical on the scene support for victims following a crisis. Since its inception, the TIP Program has been replicated to 15 regional chapters and serves over 200 police departments. This unique and effective program has gained the highest regard and appreciation from all venues – victims of trauma, law enforcement agencies and the mental/medical health communities.
Marcus Rogers
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West Lafayette IN 2009
Marcus Rogers currently serves as the Director of Cyber Forensics at Purdue University. He is recognized for the numerous contributions he has made toward enabling federal, state and local law enforcement agencies better address today’s challenges with the use of cyber forensics. Dr. Rogers has designed training programs and continuously
provides assistance to officers on all levels of law enforcement entities. His significant contributions have improved our nation’s ability to fight computer
crime via through his development of programs, teachings, and continuous
personal involvement in multiple investigations.
Marsha Levick
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Philadelphia PA 2009
Marsha Levick is Deputy Director and Chief Counsel at the Juvenile Law Center, which she co-founded in l975. Ms. Levick has become a very formidable force in children’s law.
Recently, she led a team of Juvenile Law Center and pro-bono attorneys in uncovering the highly publicized judicial corruption and “Kids for Cash”
scandal in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. It was discovered that two
juvenile Pennsylvania court judges were accepting kickbacks in exchange for
placing thousands of children in detention facilities. Earlier this year, they
were arrested and charged in federal court for accepting over $2.6 million in
kickbacks from private for profit detention centers. This is one example on her
resume’ of successful efforts portraying her continuous pursuit of protecting
and defending the constitutional rights of children.
John F. Lattomus, Jr.
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Crime Prevention Georgetown DE 2008
John F. Lattomus, Jr. is being recognized for his tireless works focusing on fire safety. Mr. Lattomus has devoted his life to bring the importance of fire prevention to the youths of Delaware. He began perusing his passion on a volunteer basis and reaching out to children who were at risk for fire starting behavior. His giving an insurmountable amount of time and effort has enabled his vision to evolve into a Juvenile Fire Setters Intervention Program. The Program has grown and flourished and it is without question that his passion, direction, and vision have created a strong successful testimony for the importance of supporting programs which focus on crime prevention.
Flint Waters
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Child Protection Cheyenne WY 2008
Flint Waters was recognized for his proven works and the positive impact he has made regarding child protection. After a career in law enforcement, he returned to school to study computer programming. Soon after, he elected to commingle his two passions, utilizing his computer skills to develop software that has been used extensively to locate child pornography traffickers. This software has enabled law enforcement entities to track and arrest child pornographers throughout he United States. Special Agent Waters is now chief of the Wyoming Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He remains active in bringing the awareness to the huge scale of the child pornography problem that plagues our nation. Mr. Waters is recognized as an expert on internet child exploitation in both the state and federal court sector and has testified before congress. His efforts have been recognized by many, including former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the National Center for Missing and Exploited children. Mr. Waters' worlds have proven to be a viable resource at tracking internet crime.
Lois Gibson
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Spring TX 2008
Lois Gibson was recognized for the remarkable success record she has acquired in bringing criminals to justice using her forensic artistry talents. She was a victim of rape when she was 21 years of age and channeled her feelings of the horrific crime into a talent for drawing faces from verbal descriptions. Her talents have reached beyond the Texas borders. Lois was recognized in 2004 by The Guinness Book of World Records as "The World's Most Successful Forensic Artist" and she has a long list of individuals who recognize that it is because of her accurate composite sketches that many criminals throughout the United States have been brought to justice.
David Koon
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Fairport NY 2008
David Koon was recognized for his legislative works pertaining to crime victims' rights. After entering the political arena in 1996 after the death of his daughter, Jennifer, who had fallen victim to crime in a nearby town, he and his wife, Suzanne, were instrumental in creating and managing the Jennifer Patterson Kool Peacemaking Foundation in her honor. At the onset of taking office, he undertook a mission to modify and improve New York State's wireless Enhanced 911 system. He has served as a member of the New York State Assembly for the 135th District since his political inception and has been an advocate for crime victims' rights throughout his tenure.
Peter J. Elliott
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Cleveland OH 2008
Peter J. Elliott serves as the United States Marshal for the North District of Ohio and is recognized for his successful development of the "Fugitive Safe Surrender" program. This unique program encourages persons wanted for non-violent felony or misdemeanor crimes to surrender to the law in a faith-based location or other neutral setting during a specified four day period. This reduces the risk to law enforcement officers who pursues fugitives, to the neighborhoods in which they hide, as well as to the fugitives themselves. Since its inception in 2004, the program has taken place in ten cities throughout the United States with new cities planning to implement it in the future.
Security On Campus, Inc.
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Crime Prevention King of Prussia PA 2008
Security On Campus, Inc. was recognized for its successful work regarding student safety on United States college and university campuses. This unique nonprofit was founded in 1987 by Connie and Howard Clery following the murder of their daughter, Jeanne, while attending her freshman year at college. They established Security On Campus, Inc. with the mission to prevent violence, substance abuse, and other crimes among college and university campus communities. This nationally-recognized organization has been instrumental in the groundbreaking 1990 legislation now known as the Jeanne Clery act.
KlaasKids Foundation
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Sausalito CA 2008
KlaasKids Foundation was formed in 1994 by Marc Klass after the kidnapping and tragic death of his 12-year-old daughter, Polly. The Foundation has been a strong supporter regarding the implementation of federal and state laws promoting preventive programs for at-risk youth, stronger sentencing for violent criminals and governmental accountability and responsibility. KlaasKids Foundation is well respected nationally and it has made an immeasurable positive impact in our country's judicial systems within the child protection arena.
Robin Casarjian
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Boston MA 2007
Robin Casarjian was recognized for her continued efforts at increasing the emotional intelligence and well-being of incarcerated adults and at-risk youth significantly enough to alter their life course. She founded the Lionheart Foundation in 1992 and is recognized as a published author on her effective programs. Her programs fill a huge gap in the need for rehabilitative resources and innovative and effective programming in prisons and jails throughout the United States as well as other countries.
Read More
WA 2007 is a project of the King County Bar Association and is recognized for its provision of unprecedented amounts of information on the State of Washington's judicial candidates. proved to be a viable resource in educating Washington voters on judicial candidates running for recent election. It has been recognized by both media and multiple organizations of Washington's judicial system as an innovative tool at bringing credible information to its voters.
ElderServe, Inc.
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Louisville KY 2007
ElderServe, Inc. was recognized for the programs it has implemented to assist Kentucky's elderly when fallen victim to crime. Between the Emergency Crisis Response Team (ECRT) and the Emergency Protective Order (EPO) Service, ElderServe is able to assist the elderly with the multiple facets of needs that occur when those over 60 are confronted with crimes such as abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
Sergeant Jesse Hambrick, Jr.
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Douglasville GA 2007
Sergeant Jesse Hambrick, Jr. was recognized for his high level of commitment and outstanding accomplishments in the area of narcotics enforcements. Sergeant Hambrick has been extremely instrumental at bringing the awareness to today's growing methamphetamine problem. His efforts have expended beyond Georgia's borders into other states and into our country's legislature. Sergeant Hambrick's passion has enabled him to produce effective results at taking hold of this problem that plagues the United States.
Judge James T. Swenson
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Minneapolis MN 2007
Judge James T. Swenson was recognized for his proven works pertaining to the improvements to Minnesota's family court. Judge Swenson has been instrumental in the development of the Hennepin County's courts' aggressive case management and Early Neutral Evaluation programs. Each of these programs are major components at speeding the process in the resolution of family court cases. Moreover, it is because of the Early Neutral Evaluation program's proven success within Hennepin County that is the reason it is being replicated throughout Minnesota as well as other states.
Kyung Won Lee
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Rancho Cordova CA 2007
Kyung Won Lee was recognized for the efforts he put forth in writing an investigative series on the conviction of immigrant Chol Soo Lee. Chol Soo Lee was convicted of a 1973 San Francisco Chinatown gangland murder. K.W. Lee authored a series of 120 articles over a five year period which focused on Chol Sol Lee's case. It is K.W. Lee's credible writings that played an instrumental part in Chol Soo Lee receiving a new trial which developed into an acquittal in 1982 and his release from San Quentin's Death Row. Mr. K.W. Lee is an accomplished journalist who became the first Asian immigrant to work for mainstream daily publication in the continental United States.
Tim Miller
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Dickinson TX 2007
Tim Miller was recognized for his founding of Texas Equusearch. This volunteer organization was established after Mr. Miller mourned the loss of his 16-year-old daughter and sought to establish an organization to help assist law enforcement and families when a missing person is reported. Although a main need for their services have been within the State of Texas, 20 percent of their searches have been beyond Texas' borders. They have, to date, participated in over 700 missing person searches all over the world. Mr. Miller has also invested time in educating citizens on the dangers such as sexual predators and child abduction that lurk within their communities.
Community Partners for Forensic Science
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Baton Rouge LA 2006
Community Partners for Forensic Science
Peter T. Scannell
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Weymouth MA 2006
Peter T. Scannell
Georgia Innocence Project
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Atlanta GA 2006
Georgia Innocence Project
Texans for Lawsuit Reform
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Austin TX 2006
Texans for Lawsuit Reform
Stephen B. Bright
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Atlanta GA 2006
Stephen B. Bright
Grier Weeks
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Asheville NC 2006
Grier Weeks
Sally Quillian Yates
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Atlanta GA 2006
Sally Quillian Yates
Carol Jordan
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Lexington KY 2005
Carol Jordan
Montana Legal Services Association
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Helena MT 2005
Montana Legal Services Association
Sergeant Patrick Welsh
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Dallas TX 2005
Sergeant Patrick Welsh
Jim McCloskey
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Princeton NJ 2005
Jim McCloskey
Captain Ted Smith
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S. Charleston WV 2005
Captain Ted Smith
Ashley Smith
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Atlanta GA 2005
Ashley Smith
Harriett Semander
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Houston TX 2005
Harriett Semander
W. Mark Felt
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Santa Rosa CA 2005
W. Mark Felt
The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
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New York NY 2004
The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was recognized for its long-standing history of providing preventative and protective services to children and strengthening families through mental health, legal, and educational services. Over the past 129 years, the NYSPCC has served over 2 million of New York City's children through an array of implemented programs.
Wynona I. Ward, Esq.
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Chelsea VT 2004
Wynona I. Ward, Esq. was recognized for creating an organization that provides legal services to victims of domestic violence in rural Vermont areas. Have Justice - Will Travel was founded in 1998 and has proven to be an asset to Vermont's judicial arena.
Women's Recovery Center
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Minneapolis MN 2004
Women's Recovery Center was recognized for its successful specialized program for women with history of prostitution and drug abuse. The program is an effective alternative to incarceration and has proven to reduce recidivism.
Attorney General W.A. Drew Edmondson
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Oklahoma City OK 2004
Attorney General W.A. Drew Edmondson was recognized for his diligent efforts in expediting the appeals process in death penalty cases. His works have made influential differences on both the state and federal levels.
Refugee Family Services
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Clarkston GA 2004
Refugee Family Services was recognized for its commitment to securing justice for hundreds of foreign-born women and children who are victims of domestic violence in the United States. The Refugee Family Services mission is to help refugee/immigrant women and children regain self-sufficiency through a variety of facets such as education, economic opportunities, and direct support.
Honorable Stephanie Rhoades
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Anchorage AK 2004
Honorable Stephanie Rhoades was recognized for her commendable improvements in the mental health courts. She has continuously extended her wealth of knowledge beyond practice, through educating others on both a state and national basis.
The Guardianship Clinic
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San Bernardino CA 2004
The Guardianship Clinic of Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino is recognized for its level of commitment in serving minor children who have lost their parents. This program provides prospective guardians with legal advice, documentation, and the education necessary to comply with the legal process.
Michael D. Davis
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Louisville KY 2004
Michael D. Davis was recognized for his instrumental efforts in the creation of the nation's first automated crime victims notification service in 1994. The VINE service is currently available in more than 1,400 communities in 36 states.
Detective Gary Nolte
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Skokie IL 2003
Detective Gary Nolte was recognized for his multiple years of dedication and perseverance in putting a stop to the organized criminal activity of the Moro family. He was instrumental in bringing many facets of the criminal justice system together on a national basis to work together to result in their arrests.
University Legal Assistance
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Spokane WA 2003
University Legal Assistance was recognized for providing legal assistance via advice and representation to clients who are individuals with limited financial resources and often having complex legal issues. Their efforts have resulted in positive results for clients who found themselves in unfortunate circumstances.
John S. Goldkamp
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Philadelphia PA 2003
John S. Goldkamp was a professor at Temple University and is recognized for his commitment of over a decade in working on a multiple of projects providing a long-term effect on fundamentally restructuring the criminal court's processes in Philadelphia.
Sentencing Through Alternative Resources Program (S.T.A.R.)
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San Bernardino CA 2003
Sentencing Through Alternative Resources Program (S.T.A.R.) is a program recognized for reducing recidivism among those individuals who have pled to or been found guilty of driving while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. The S.T.A.R. Program was implemented in 1998 and works in conjunction with the San Bernardino Court system along with the local coroner's office.
Scott B. Peterson
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Washington D.C. 2003
Scott B. Peterson was recognized for his collection of years of involvement and expansion of an alternative to the Juvenile Justice System for youthful offenders that utilizes peer pressure as a positive force. His dedication to the implementation and expansion of the Youth Court Programs is commendable.
Coordinated Advise and Referral Program For Legal Services (CARPLS)
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Chicago IL 2003
Coordinated Advise and Referral Program For Legal Services (CARPLS) was recognized for providing legal assistance to low-income individuals in a manner that is both timely and cost-effective. CARPLS provides legal advice and information, brief services to prevent and minimize litigation, prompt referrals to appropriate legal, government, and social service programs. In addition, it provides educational and instructional materials to help clients resolve problems themselves.
Steve Twist
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Scottsdale AZ 2003
Steve Twist was recognized for his many years of dedication and advocacy for victims' rights. He expanded his efforts to outside the Arizona state border to assist other states with promoting and drafting their amendments to victims' rights laws.
Regina Marscheider
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Virginia Beach VA 2002
Regina Marscheider was recognized for her Children's Performance Workshops that use marionettes to educate teachers and children on the prevention of child abuse. These presentations have been viewed by over 2.5 million nationwide in the 1990s and many more since then.
Associated Marine Institutes (AMI)
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Tallahassee FL 2002
Associated Marine Institutes (AMI) was recognized for its highly successful juvenile rehabilitation programs, often using the environment and the community as its orientation. In operation since 1969, AMI now has 50+ programs in seven areas of our country, and one international location.
Marilyn Allen
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Dover NH 2002
Marilyn Allen was recognized for her jail work and industry program that is now a national model. In operation for over 16 years, her program lowers the incarceration costs, provides restitution, and reduces recidivism. Many inmates have also been able to provide some support for their families, and find permanent employment after release.
Officer Camille Steigleder
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Molalla OR 2002
Officer Camille Steigleder was recognized for the juvenile diversion program she created and administers for first time offenders. A panel of local citizens hears the juvenile's offense and determines the appropriate sanction. The recidivism rate dropped down below 5%. As offshoots, Officer Steigleder started the Parent Aid program to provide voluntary drug testing to juveniles, and an after school grade recovery program at the police station.
Judge Legrome D. Davis
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Philadelphia PA 2002
Judge Legrome D. Davis was recognized for his improvements to the city's criminal court system. His "Rocket Docket" program provided differentiated case management to the criminal courts. He implemented medical assessments and arranged funded treatment for those defendants with drug problems. He also created new pretrial release guidelines.
IMAGE Drug Task Force
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Auburn IN 2002
IMAGE Drug Task Force was recognized for its effective multi-county coordination to locate and arrest local drug offenders. Employing a new police officer in an undercover operation netted 17 arrests after three months.
Officer Randy Melton
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Houston TX 2002
Officer Randy Melton was recognized for his work in education police officers and the deaf community about each other. Sign language classes and a communication guide have been provided to the officers. Deaf citizens are invited to monthly meetings with the police department, and have placards available for their vehicles. Officer Melton's success has led him to become a national speaker for the deaf community.
Edward Michael Jagen
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Beltsville MD 2002
Edward Michael Jagen was recognized for his work in child protection and crime prevention. After retiring as a police detective, he created the "Good Knight Campaign" school programs. Using age appropriate presentations, the ten basic deceptions used by criminals to lure their victims are taught. In knight attire, he educates and inspires children to develop self-protection.

See our list of past Award Recipients

To read more about our Recipients, please visit our desktop website

Alison Steele Legislative Reform TX 2021
Berkeley Law Policy Advocacy Clinic Legal Aid CA 2021
Elizabeth Smart Crime Prevention UT 2021
Florida Justice Institute Treatment FL 2021
Harriet Salarno Victims' Advocacy CA 2021
James Dold Child Protection DC 2021
Oklahoma Interviewing Services Child Protection OK 2021
Parabon NanoLabs Innovative Technology VA 2021
Tzedek DC Legal Reform DC 2021
Alaska Native Justice Center AK 2019
Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities (AVID) WA 2019
John Bair NY 2019
Florida Justice Technology Center FL 2019
Vicki Sokolik FL 2019
Violence Intervention Program MD 2019
Ayuda's Project Eradicating Notario Deceit, (Project END) Crime Victims' Rights DC 2018
Summer Chappell Crime Prevention TN 2018
Max Kenner Reducing Recidivism NY 2018
Richard Pompelio Crime Victims' Rights NJ 2018
Amanda Thomashow Other Significant Effots MI 2018
Courthouse Dogs Foundation Other Significant Efforts WA 2017
Krysta's Karing Angels Crime Prevention TX 2017
Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center Crime Victims' Rights OH 2017
Dr. Mark W. Perlin Other Significant Efforts PA 2017
The First 72+ Reducing Recidivism LA 2017
Tyler Shultz Other Significant Efforts CA 2017
Dirk C. Moore Crime Prevention TX 2016
Kiddie Court-Court Education Program Child Protection MD 2016
Legal Partnership for Permanency of Family Design Resources, Inc. Speeding the Process PA 2016
Julia R. Wilson and OneJustice Lowering the Cost CA 2016
Prison Policy Initiative Legal Reform MD 2016
Women's Law Project Crime Victims' Rights PA 2016
Conservator Account Auditing Program MN 2015
Honorable Michael Denton TX 2015
Latino Union IL 2015
Richard Ravosa, Esq. MA 2015
Rehabilitation Through th Arts NY 2015
Antoinette Tuff Crime Prevention GA 2014
Julio Medina Reducing Recidivism NY 2014
Jeff Bauer and The Family Partnership Legal Reform MN 2014
Honorable James M. Mize Speeding the Process CA 2014
Victims of Crime and Leniencey Crime Victims' Rights AL 2014
Texas Loves Children dba Child Protection Connection Child Protection TX 2014
Jamie Esparaza TX 2013
Melinda Aguilar TX 2013
David Goldman NJ 2013
Christopher J. Schmidt MO 2013
Ex-Prisoner and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement MA 2013
Sergeant Jason Teague GA 2013
Florida Bar Foundation Other Significant Efforts FL 2012
Hope House Reducing Recidivism DC 2012
National Immigrant Justice Center Legal Reform IL 2012
National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) Team Speeding the Process DC 2012
Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center Crime Victims' Rights MD 2012
National Crime Victim law Institute Crime Victims' Rights OR 2012
Minnesota Court Payment Center Project MN 2011
Richard L. Hyde GA 2011
Claudia Barnes and Kellie Wiggins Legal Reform GA 2011
The Women's Cancer Legal Project GA 2011
William Custer and Holly Pierson GA 2011
Kids First Law Center IA 2011
Illinois Legal Aid Online IL 2010
Brad Dennis FL 2010
Suzanne F. Sawyer MO 2010
Charles Weiss, Stephen Snodgrass and James Wyrsch MO 2010
Karen Bateman and Diane Reeve UT/TX 2010
Madison County Veterans Court IL 2010
Erie Earn-It Program Effecting Restitution PA 2009
Barbara Bently Legal Reform CA 2009
Polaris Project DC 2009
Wayne Fortin CA 2009
Marcus Rogers IN 2009
Marsha Levick PA 2009
John F. Lattomus, Jr. Crime Prevention DE 2008
Flint Waters Child Protection WY 2008
Lois Gibson TX 2008
David Koon NY 2008
Peter J. Elliott OH 2008
Security On Campus, Inc. Crime Prevention PA 2008
KlaasKids Foundation CA 2008
Robin Casarjian MA 2007 WA 2007
ElderServe, Inc. KY 2007
Sergeant Jesse Hambrick, Jr. GA 2007
Judge James T. Swenson MN 2007
Kyung Won Lee CA 2007
Tim Miller TX 2007
Community Partners for Forensic Science LA 2006
Peter T. Scannell MA 2006
Georgia Innocence Project GA 2006
Texans for Lawsuit Reform TX 2006
Stephen B. Bright GA 2006
Grier Weeks NC 2006
Sally Quillian Yates GA 2006
Carol Jordan KY 2005
Montana Legal Services Association MT 2005
Sergeant Patrick Welsh TX 2005
Jim McCloskey NJ 2005
Captain Ted Smith WV 2005
Ashley Smith GA 2005
Harriett Semander TX 2005
W. Mark Felt CA 2005
The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children NY 2004
Wynona I. Ward, Esq. VT 2004
Women's Recovery Center MN 2004
Attorney General W.A. Drew Edmondson OK 2004
Refugee Family Services GA 2004
Honorable Stephanie Rhoades AK 2004
The Guardianship Clinic CA 2004
Michael D. Davis KY 2004
Detective Gary Nolte IL 2003
University Legal Assistance WA 2003
John S. Goldkamp PA 2003
Sentencing Through Alternative Resources Program (S.T.A.R.) CA 2003
Scott B. Peterson D.C. 2003
Coordinated Advise and Referral Program For Legal Services (CARPLS) IL 2003
Steve Twist AZ 2003
Regina Marscheider VA 2002
Associated Marine Institutes (AMI) FL 2002
Marilyn Allen NH 2002
Officer Camille Steigleder OR 2002
Judge Legrome D. Davis PA 2002
IMAGE Drug Task Force IN 2002
Officer Randy Melton TX 2002
Edward Michael Jagen MD 2002