Justice Department Honors Hawaii Advocate For Efforts To Compensate Crime Victims, Hold Offenders Accountable

Apr 23, 2013, 20:38 ET from Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

HONOLULU, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Justice will recognize the executive director of the Hawaii Crime Victim Compensation Commission for her efforts to support crime victims.  Attorney General Eric Holder will present Pamela Joyce Ferguson-Brey with an award during the National Crime Victims' Rights Week awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

"These committed individuals are being honored for their dedication to assisting and supporting victims of crime all across the country," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "Their actions inspire all Americans, to do what we can, each in our own way, to help lessen the physical, emotional and financial impacts of crime on people in our communities."

Ferguson-Brey will receive the Crime Victims' Financial Restoration Award.  While working with the governor, chief justice, legislators, community stakeholders and the Council of State Governments, Ferguson-Brey implemented the victim service component of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) in Hawaii, resulting in huge savings to the state and a standardized framework for offenders to pay restitution to crime victims.  It resulted in enhanced services for victims by funding 22 new advocate positions, 15 of which are for county-based victim advocates, two for a corrections-based victim service program and five for a restitution accountability program in the Commission. 

Ferguson-Brey's efforts led to funding for the creation of a comprehensive computer database to track restitution orders, collections and payments and establishing the permanent Statewide Automated Victim Notification system.  Not only does this initiative provide revenue to the Commission for payments already made to crime victims, it holds offenders accountable.  Ferguson-Brey successfully advocated for a 15 percent increase (from 10 to 25 percent) in the amount of restitution payable from inmate wages.

In addition to Ferguson-Brey, Attorney General Holder will recognize 12 other individuals and organizations for their outstanding efforts on behalf of crime victims.  Descriptions and videos of the honorees are available at the Office for Victims of Crime's Gallery: https://ovcncvrw.ncjrs.gov/Awards/AwardGallery/gallerysearch.html.

President Reagan proclaimed the first Victims' Rights Week in 1981, calling for renewed emphasis on, and sensitivity to, the rights of victims.  National Crime Victims' Rights Week will be observed this year from April 21-27.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), 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. For more information about OJP, please visit: www.ojp.gov.

SOURCE Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs