May-June 2010

A few notes on victim assistance

Suzanne McDaniel

TDCAA Victim Services Director in Austin

New Victim Services Board coming up

With lots of hard work from the TDCAA Board of Directors, Victim Assistance Committee, and TDCAA staff, the long-range planning goal of transitioning the committee to the TDCAA Victim Services Board is becoming a reality. On Sept. 23, at this year’s Annual Criminal & Civil Law Update in South Padre Island, all eligible victim services personnel will elect representatives from each of the eight regions. We are asking for your help in identifying and recruiting candidates to run for the board. To be eligible, each candidate must have permission from the elected prosecutor, attend the elections at the annual conference, and be a paid member prior to the meeting. The proposed bylaws for the board and a map of the regions is below (as an attachment).

    Like those on the existing Key Personnel and Investigator Boards, the new Victim Services Board members will assist in preparing and developing operational procedures, standards, training, and educational programs and serve as a point of contact for their region. For more information, please contact Suzanne McDaniel at mcdaniel ( a t ) tdcaa ( d o t ) com.

Victim assistance grants

Victim assistance services have long been an underfunded—if not unfunded—mandate in prosecutors offices. Local, state, and federal budget cuts make it essential to be aware of funding opportunities.

    The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, has a new website to provide basic information about state and federal funding opportunities and the steps involved in applying for grants: grants101. It is a good overview for anyone thinking of applying or reapplying for a state or federal grant.

    Over the past 10 years, OJP has provided 52,000 funding awards to the criminal justice community totaling more than $26 billion. In fiscal year 2009, OJP awarded 4,900 grants totaling more than $2.5 billion and 3,883 Recovery Act grants totaling more than $2.74 billion to state and local and tribal law enforcement and community organizations.

Texas Crime Victim Rights Week, April 18–24

Texas observed National Crime Victims Rights Week this year from April 18–24. The theme was “Crime Victims’ Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect.” Communities across the state increased awareness of crime victims’ rights by coming together and hosting educational activities, hotlines, conferences, and other events. This week marked an important time not only to honor victims but also to recognize those organizations and agencies that we depend on daily for cooperation in providing assistance. TDCAA was involved with planning the statewide observance in Austin on April 22.  

    We’d love to include pictures with captions of the events in your community in the next edition of the Prosecutor. Please e-mail stories and photos of your community’s activities to us at [email protected] so that we can share ideas with the entire membership.

    Also, it isn’t too early to start planning for next year. Bookmark the Office for Victims of Crime website for more reference and information at