(Phoenix, Ariz. - April 19, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today presented his Office’s 2010 Distinguished Service Awards to victims’ rights leaders in Arizona for their outstanding service to crime victims.
“Today we pay special tribute to those who provide services to crime victims and have shown leadership, innovation, and commitment to improving services,” Goddard said. “These men and women are shining examples of the extraordinary efforts made every day to be sure that victims are treated with fairness, dignity and respect."
Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca W. Berch and U. S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke also addressed the honorees at today’s ceremony at the Carnegie Center, adjacent to the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle received the Distinguished Service Award for Innovative Practices for his unique program in the collection of delinquent restitution payments for crime victims. The new program’s inspiration came from the process for collecting late child support payments in family court, which has been highly successful. The concept has received national attention, and Judge Steinle has been invited to Washington D.C. to speak about the program to the National Center for Victims of Crime. To date, the Restitution Court has ordered over $200,000 in delinquent restitution for crime victims.
Goddard also presented the Public Policy Distinguished Service Award to Bobbi Sudberry from the Arizona Coalition against Domestic Violence and co-founder of “Kaity’s Way”. Bobbi lost her daughter tragically to dating violence and has been instrumental in getting Kaity’s law enacted in honor of her daughter, Kaitlyn.
Distinguished Service Awards for Leadership were presented to Dr. Neil Websdale, professor of criminology and criminal justice at Northern Arizona University, and Sue Rutherford, executive director for the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) of Arizona.
In 2008, through a Governor’s Office initiative to protect domestic violence victims, Dr. Websdale created the fatality review teams to make system changes that would safeguard victims and prevent domestic violence-related deaths. Dr. Websdale has authored books on domestic violence, worked as a past national director of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review initiative and helped craft legislation giving review teams legal protection.
Sue Rutherford was instrumental in creating the Yavapai Chapter of the Trauma Intervention Program of Arizona. This group of trained volunteers provides emotional aid and practical support to victims and their families following a traumatic event. Additionally, she implemented the first automatic call system for TIPs in the country. Working with various agencies, they developed a system where specific types of calls are automatically dispatched by the 911 system at the same time police and fire are dispatched. This has tremendously improved response time.
The Distinguished Service Award for Service Collaboration was presented to the F.B.I. Phoenix Division’s Squad C-4. Supervisor Special Agent Julie A. Halferty of this squad formed the Securities Fraud and Mortgage Fraud Task Force to address the plight of crime victims. These multidisciplinary teams, comprised of law enforcement agencies, the I.R.S., lending institutions, the US Postal services and the Arizona Corporation Commission have coordinated efforts to combat mortgage and securities fraud that has swept Arizona.
Finally, the Distinguished Service Award for Advocacy and Direct Service was presented to Pamela Turner for her work with the Northern Arizona Center against Sexual Assault (NACASA). In 2001, she led the charge to establish NACASA, the first program of its kind in this region to serve three counties, the Navajo and Hopi nations and the Grand Canyon National park.
To reach the Attorney General’s Office of Victim Services, please contact email@example.com or (602) 542-5025. Additional information is available at the Attorney General’s Office Web site, www.azag.gov.