New members were recently elected and appointed to TDCAA’s Victim Services Board for Regions 1, 3, 5, and 7. Board members for 2015 are:
Chairperson: Tracy Viladevall, McLennan County CDA’s Office
Region 1: Angel Morland, Potter County Attorney’s Office
Region 2 & Secretary: Serena Hooper, Andrews County & District Attorney’s Office
Region 3: Dalia Arteaga, 38th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
Region 4: Eladia Rodriguez-Torres, 81st District Attorney’s Office
Region 5: Colleen Jordan, Harris County District Attorney’s Office
Region 6: Sue White, Rockwall County CDA’s Office
Region 7: Adina Morris, Palo Pinto County DA’s Office
Region 8: Wanda Ivicic, Williamson County Attorney’s Office
Training Committee Liaison: Cyndi Jahn, Bexar County CDA’s Office
The Victim Services Board members represent a wealth of expertise in the field of victim services. The board’s purpose is to prepare and develop operational procedures, standards, training, and educational programs; coordinate victim assistance programs; and address all such other appropriate matters dealing with victim assistance programs and services. The board members serve as mentors and points of contact for their regions. Congratulations and welcome!
A special thank you to our outgoing board members Mary Duncan, Jill McAfee, Beverly Erickson, Rachel Leal, and Laurie Gillespie. Your willingness, dedication, and loyalty to service on our Victim Services Board will not be forgotten. We will miss you!
Our 2014 KP/VAC Seminar in San Antonio was a huge success! Over 200 members attended. TDCAA’s meeting planner, Manda Herzing, outdid herself this year by securing the Sheraton Gunter Hotel on the Riverwalk! Our speakers were dynamic and by all accounts everyone went away from the seminar informed and updated on how to do our jobs better.
This seminar is held annually and is an awesome venue for key personnel and victim assistance coordinators from prosecutor’s offices across Texas to network and get new ideas from others who do similar jobs in other counties. Next year’s seminar will be held at the Hotel Galvez in Galveston November 4–6.
Suzanne McDaniel Award
Michelle Permenter, Director of Victim Services at the Harris County DA’s Office, has been honored with TDCAA’s Suzanne McDaniel Award for her work on behalf of crime victims. This award, given by TDCAA’s Victim Services Board, is bestowed on a person who is employed by a county attorney, district attorney or criminal district attorney’s office; whose job duties involve working directly with victims; and who has demonstrated impeccable service to TDCAA, victim services, and prosecution.
Michelle received her award at TDCAA’s Key Personnel/Victim Assistance Coordinator Seminar in San Antonio. Michelle exemplifies the qualities that were so evident in Suzanne McDaniel herself: advocacy, empathy, and a constant recognition of the rights of crime victims. Congratulations Michelle!
Victim assistance grants
Funding opportunities for General Victim Assistance—Direct Services Programs were posted on the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division website at https://cjdonline.governor .state.tx.us in December 2014. Grant funding applications will be due February 27, 2015.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) also offers grant-funding opportunities for victim assistance programs in prosecutor’s offices. Grant opportunities are posted on the website, www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/victims/grants.shtml, as well as in the Texas Register and with Texas eGrants. For additional information, contact the OAG via email at [email protected]sattorneygeneral.gov.
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Each April communities throughout the country observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) by hosting events promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. NCVRW will be observed April 19–25, 2015. Check out the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) website at http://ojp.gov/ovc/awareness/about_ncvrw.html for additional information. If your community hosts an event, The Texas Prosecutor journal would love to publish photos and information about it. Please email me at Jalayne.Robinson @tdcaa.com to notify us of plans for your event.