Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford Opens 4th Annual Maryland Crime Victims’ Rights Conference, Presents Governor’s Victim Assistance Awards
Annapolis, MD – Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford today opened the 4th Annual Maryland Crime Victims’ Rights Conference at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland and presented Governor’s Victim Assistance Awards to three citizens who went above and beyond the call of duty to assist crime victims. The week of April 7 – April 13, 2019 marks Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is recognized nationally every year.
“Crime Victims’ Rights Week serves as a reminder of the progress our administration has made in securing justice for victims, and the work still left to do,” said Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford. “We remain strongly committed to ensuring that victims of crime have the right to information, the right to provide input, the right to receive restitution, and, most importantly, the expectation of being treated with dignity, and respect that they deserve.”
The conference was made possible by the collaboration of the Maryland State Board of Victim Services and the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. More than 400 attendees, including representatives of leading victims advocacy and service organizations, gathered to discuss innovative best practices and tools to serve victims of crime in Maryland. The national theme of Crime Victims’ Rights Week this year is “Honoring Our Past, Creating Hope for the Future,” and the lieutenant governor and subsequent speakers discussed efforts to expand protections and services for victims in Maryland.
Lt. Governor Rutherford detailed the administration’s support of several major initiatives from the governor’s legislative package to protect and empower victims of crime during the 2019 session of the Maryland General Assembly, which ended on April 8. The administration worked with a bipartisan coalition of advocates and legislators to successfully pass legislation that classifies human trafficking as a crime of violence. This classification will allow prosecutors to push for harsher sentences against human traffickers.
The Hogan Administration has provided more than $60 million in grant funding for victim services. Included in this grant funding is a major expansion of the victim witness relocation and protection program. In 2018 alone, grant funding was made available to support nearly 180,000 victims, to track more than 26,000 protective orders, and to serve more than 10,000 warrants.
“The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention was able to serve more than 180,000 victims in Maryland in the past year alone,” said Glenn Fueston, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. “We are proud to ensure that Governor Hogan’s commitment to care for victims of crime is implemented swiftly and thoroughly.”
At the conference, Governor Hogan presented the Virginia Mahoney Award to Debbie Feinstein; the Vincent Roper Memorial Award to Alice Oaks, and Henry Gleim Memorial Award to Angela Brooks – all Maryland citizens who went above and beyond the call of duty to assist crime victims.
The Virginia Mahoney Award is given in recognition of a prominent state leader or high-ranking official who has epitomized true leadership in support of victims’ rights. In honor of Ginny Mahoney, who was a longtime advocate for victims of violent crime, the Maryland State Board of Victim Services recognizes an outstanding leader who has set the standard for excellence and professionalism in the field of victim services.
The Vincent Roper Memorial Award is given in recognition of outstanding work to secure crime victim justice for all in a quiet and selfless manner. This award is named in honor of Vincent Roper, who dedicated his life to making a difference for all crime victims and whose countless contributions revolutionized victims’ rights.
The Henry Gleim Memorial Award is given in recognition of outstanding service to crime victims and those who work to serve them. This award is given in memory of Henry Gleim, an unsung hero who gave unselfishly, generously, courageously, and with hope for those who walk in the path of victimization.
“To everyone in this room, and to crime victims all across our state, I want you to know that our administration will continue to make victims’ rights a priority, and we will keep fighting on your behalf each and every day,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford.