Department of Justice Recognizes Georgia Advocate with Crime Victims' Rights Award
WASHINGTON – The Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, presented the Crime Victims’ Rights Award to Derek Marchman from Conyers, Georgia. This award honors the dedicated champions whose efforts to advance or enforce crime victims’ rights have benefited victims of crime at the state, tribal or national level.
“For more than 30 years, Derek Marchman has helped shape the victim assistance field in Georgia and throughout the nation by expanding funding and services and by strengthening rights for crime victims,” said Amy L. Solomon, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of OJP. “His dedication and perseverance on behalf of victims, demonstrated by his long-standing commitment, have made a difference in the lives of countless victims and survivors.”
Marchman began his criminal justice career as a probation officer, then moved on to working with state legislators to improve victim services. At the Georgia Governor’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Marchman was instrumental in enhancing and increasing services and funding for victims of crime, resulting in the passage of Georgia’s Victim Bill of Rights and Family Violence Act. He also helped Georgia senators and then-Senator Biden pass the Violence Against Women Act. He helped enact institutional changes that promoted the availability of victims’ assistance funds to prosecutors, sheriffs and police chiefs and worked to pass legislation that required a percentage of parole fees to be paid into the Crime Victims Fund. These procedures are still in place today, with more than $20 million awarded to more than 4,800 survivors throughout the state annually.
Mr. Marchman was called to run the victim assistance efforts in response to the 1996 Olympics bombing in Atlanta, working 86 straight hours to address victims’ medical bills and family, travel and privacy issues. He later established a consulting firm and became a lecturer and trainer, building strong collaborations for change by bringing together different groups and fostering visionary thinking, initiatives, innovative methods and creative ideas.
“Mr. Marchman has worked tirelessly to help improve the lives of crime victims through legislative advocacy that has yielded remarkable success and stamped his place on the victims’ rights field,” Kristina Rose, Director of OVC. “His visionary thinking and innovative methods, directed to improving the lives of victims, has made him a stalwart victim advocate and a model of service.”
Every April, OVC leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. President Ronald W. Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, calling for greater sensitivity to the rights and needs of victims. This year’s observance is taking place April 24-30, and features the theme, “Rights, Access, Equity, for All Victims.”
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.