Derek L. Marchman | 2022 National Crime Victims' Service Awards
Derek Marchman has developed and implemented programs affecting victims and the victims’ rights movement for the last 30 years in the State of Georgia and nationwide. Mr. Marchman began his criminal justice career as a Probation Officer, and then moved on to working with state legislators to improve crime victim services.
At the Georgia Governor’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Mr. Marchman helped shape the victim assistance field by enhancing and increasing services and funding for victims of crime. He led efforts that resulted in the passage of Georgia ’s Victim Bill of Rights and Georgia’s Family Violence Act. With these successes behind him, Governor Zell Miller sent Mr. Marchman to the Nation’s capital to help Georgia's senators and then-Senator Joe Biden pass the Violence Against Women Act.
Derek Marchman received the Crime Victims' Rights Award. Visit the OVC Gallery for more information about her work to support victims of crime.
DEREK MARCHMAN: It's hard to believe it's been 30 years.
NANCY BILLS: Yeah, I know. Derek's basically spent his whole career behind the scenes. His work with Governor Miller and Victims' Compensation, I mean, that was huge.
DEREK MARCHMAN: Victims' Bill of Rights was just coming on. It was our job to drive it. So, we helped get it passed. You can take things that are on the federal level and make them work for your state.
They appointed me Director of Victims' Compensation. The impact of a crime is so long lasting. And that just became a driving force.
Who processes claims faster than anybody? Insurance people. People thought we were crazy, but all of a sudden, we started processing claims faster. Then I saw, oh, my gosh, we're going to run out of money! “Hey, guys, what are you doing with the extra fees from Pardons and Parole?” Next thing I know, we're getting a couple hundred thousand dollars a year added to the fund.
In 1996, we were tasked with being victim assistance for the Olympic Committee. When the bomb went off, we were so ready. We worked through the night identifying victims, getting information out, finding families, getting compensation moving. They tell me I was there 86 hours before I went home.
…they could just go straight to jails.
NANCY BILLS: When I first was elected, Derek came to see me, and he said, "Okay, here's what we need to do. I know you just got elected, so I'm going to give you a year, and then I'm going to come back and we're going to start Family Violence Task Force."
Exactly. Full circle in a lot of ways.
We've just been awarded another federal grant for family violence, and we get to build on the things we had already started.
DEREK MARCHMAN: I'm not just talking about it. We're doing it!
It's being creative, putting in the hours, and seeing around corners. That's how you effect change.
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