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National Crime Victim Law Institute

2013 Crime Victims’ Rights Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

National Crime Victim Law Institute | Crime Victims’ Rights Award
Team Members: Jeff Hanson; Amy Liu; Meg Garvin; Marissa Behringer; Alison Wilkinson; Rebecca Khalil; Johanna Borkan; Sarah LeClair; Terry Campos; Scott Flor
Portland, Oregon

In the 1990s, victims’ rights existed in every jurisdiction but there was no national effort to provide legal services to secure those rights. The result was that rights were mere words on paper with enforcement left to each trial court’s discretion. The National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) was founded in 2000 to change this by creating a national network of trained lawyers to protect victims’ rights through legal advocacy at no cost to the victim. 

In 2002, with support from the Office for Victims of Crime, NCVLI pioneered a 5-year national demonstration project to provide these services. Through this initial pilot effort, more than 800 victims received no-cost legal services and more than 13,000 individuals nationwide were trained on victims’ rights enforcement. As the only national organization that focuses on enforcing victims’ rights in criminal courts, NCVLI is empowering victims and enhancing the justice system. 

Today, NCVLI continues to enhance the role and voice of victims in our justice system using a three-pronged approach of litigation, education, and public policy. NCVLI helps litigate to protect these rights with technical assistance and amicus curiae participation, educates legal professionals, pairs crime victims with pro bono attorneys, and leads public policy reform. Last year, NCVLI assisted in more than 100 legal matters, filed 16 amicus briefs, trained more than 1,600 professionals, and grew its membership alliance to more than 1,000 members. 

NCVLI is securing victims’ rights for individuals today and creating legal precedent so that future victims can navigate an improved justice system.