WASHINGTON, April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney General Eric Holder recognized the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department's Financial Compliance Program with the Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award today at the 2012 annual victims' service awards ceremony, a prelude to the nation's observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 22-28, 2012.
"This year's 12 awardees have touched, improved and even saved lives. Perhaps most impressively, many of today's award recipients have achieved these results by transforming their own experiences into a positive force for sweeping change," said Attorney General Holder. "Every one of them deserves the commendation that is being bestowed today – not only for their remarkable contributions in responding to protecting and defending crime victims and their loved ones but also for the examples they have set for others to follow."
The Maricopa County Adult Probation Department's Financial Compliance Program (FINCOM) is a comprehensive, integrated, and innovative practice that significantly increased the amount of restitution collected and paid to victims of crime. FINCOM teaches probation officers how to help probationers make restitution to their victims by assessing their payment ability and developing payment plans. In 2011, FINCOM collected more than $10.86 million in restitution, a dramatic increase from the $4.78 million during the program's first year of service. The Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award recognizes individuals, programs, organizations, or teams which have developed innovative ways of funding services for crime victims, or for securing financial restoration for crime victims.
In addition to the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department's Financial Compliance Program, Attorney General Holder recognized the efforts of eleven other recipients for their extraordinary efforts in the aftermath of a crime, as well as their professional efforts to better serve the needs of victims with disabilities; for assisting U.S. citizens victimized outside the United States; and for ensuring victims receive compensation and other services at the state and local level.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information about OJP can be found at www.ojp.gov.
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice - Office of Justice Programs