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Steven John Twist

2003 National Crime Victim Service Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

Steven John Twist | National Crime Victim Service Award
National Crime Victims Law Institute
Scottsdale, Arizona

Steven Twist has spent the past 27 years successfully advocating for stronger legal protections for crime victims. As Counsel to the Majority in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1976 to 1978, he drafted the state's new criminal code, which included the state's first victims' rights laws. 

In 1980, as the state's Chief Assistant Attorney General, he established the nation's first Victim Witness Division based in an Attorney General's Office. Over the next several years, he worked to promote passage of several victims' rights laws, and by 1990, he had drafted a bill to amend the state's constitution to guarantee certain fundamental victims' rights. After organizing and leading a statewide campaign to secure the amendment's adoption, he drafted legislation to implement it, which was passed by the state legislature in 1992. 

His success in Arizona drew the attention of other state legislators, who asked him to assist them in drafting and promoting their own amendments. He also continued to labor on behalf of victims in his home state, establishing a statewide coalition of victim advocates called Arizona Voice for Crime Victims. 

He has given victims access to much needed legal aid by founding the Victims Legal Assistance Project, in partnership with the Arizona State University College of Law, and by helping to found the National Crime Victims Law Institute. Twist has testified many times since 1996 on behalf of a federal constitutional amendment and has spoken in support of the amendment across the country.