Justice Department Honors Victim Service Director For Leadership Following Tucson, Ariz. Shooting

Apr 23, 2013, 20:43 ET from Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

TUCSON, Ariz., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Justice will recognize Kent Burbank of the Pima County Attorney's Office for his leadership in serving the victims of the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting in Tucson, Ariz.  Attorney General Eric Holder will present him 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."

Burbank, director of the Victim Services Division of the Pima County Attorney's Office, will receive the National Crime Victim Service Award for providing outstanding direction, support and coordination of service for victims of crime in the aftermath of the shootings in Tucson, Ariz., that left six people dead and many injured, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords.   

Responding to the scene within minutes, Burbank and his staff and volunteers provided immediate crisis intervention and support to witnesses.  He relieved advocates at the University Medical Center who had served long hours at their post.  He also assisted the FBI and the Pima County Sheriff's Department in gathering accurate information about the victims, and he provided guidance to victims, witnesses and family members on what to expect from the criminal justice system. 

Burbank also instituted a number of programs enhancing support to other crime victims in Arizona, such as establishing satellite offices to reach victims in rural areas, a Kids in Court program empowering child victims and witnesses by increasing their understanding of the court process and a lethality assessment program that teaches first responders to identify and assist victims of domestic violence at risk of being murdered by their abusers.

In addition to Burbank, 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