Public Safety Secretary Receives Champion for Crime Victims Award

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Towson, MD (October 15, 2010) --- Following a commitment to crime victims, a key component of any criminal justice system, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services’ (DPSCS) Secretary Gary D. Maynard tonight received the 2010 Maryland Champion for Crime Victims Award from the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center (MCVRC). Maynard was one of three awardees who were honored at the MCVRC’s annual fundraiser for their efforts to treat victims with dignity, respect and sensitivity.

The MCVRC is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to serving the interests of crime victims in Maryland, while maintaining a nationwide reputation for dedicated advocacy and services. The 2010 Chocolate Affair, held at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #89, was the MCVRC 7th annual fundraiser and awards event.

Under the direction of Secretary Maynard, DPSCS is dedicated to serving the victims of crimes. As offenders pass through our correctional facilities and parole/probation supervision, victim services units are there to help crime victims navigate the process as well as keep them informed of offender whereabouts and any changes in supervision status. This past year the Division of Parole and Probation (DPP), along with DPSCS’ professional development unit, created an intensive curriculum for supervisors and agents on domestic violence and victims’ rights issues, and DPP routinely processes domestic violence risk assessments and supervision checklists.

DPSCS also oversees the Maryland Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) which uses offender court fees, restitution, and state and federal funds to compensate victims of crime for the physical and psychological losses associated with crime. Recent reform to the criminal injuries compensation process was one of the main reasons Maynard was selected by the MCVRC for this award. During FY10, CICB awarded $7.3 million in compensation, providing 1000 of Maryland’s crime victims with financial restoration.

In addition, MCVRC thanked DPSCS for their involvement in changes made during the 2010 legislative session. These included training requirements for the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions (PCTC), also a division of DPSCS, which will now incorporate routine education for law enforcement personnel regarding laws of notice, service, support and rights available to victims and their representatives. PCTC has also been involved in creating a uniform reporting form for law enforcement to use when someone is a victim of identify fraud, making it easier to transmit electronically to federal authorities who process these types of cases.