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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 1999202/307-0703



WASHINGTON, D.C. - Kathryn M. Turman, a native of Tyler, Texas, was sworn in Tuesday as Director of the Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). President Clinton nominated Ms. Turman to the position in August, and she was confirmed by the Senate on November 10. Ms. Turman has served as Acting Director since July 1998.

"We are delighted to have Kathryn as an official member of our team," said Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), which includes OVC. "She brings with her tremendous experience and deep commitment to victims and victims' issues, particularly child victims."

Prior to joining OVC, Ms. Turman served as Chief of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. From 1993 to 1994, she was a Senior Associate in the Criminal Justice Services Division of Public Administration Service in McLean, Virginia, where she directed a national training and technical assistance program to help communities organize multi-agency teams to handle child victim cases.

Ms. Turman was also Director of the Justice Department's Missing and Exploited Children Program from 1991 to 1993 and served as Special Administrative Assistant to the late Senator John Heinz. She is the author of Child Victims and Witnesses: A Guide for Criminal Justice Professionals, published by the Department of Justice, and Recovery and Reunification of Missing Children, published by the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"Extraordinary changes have taken place for crime victims in the past two decades, but the new century will bring new challenges as we continue our efforts to improve rights and services for crime victims," said Ms. Turman.

As director of OVC, Ms. Turman will manage the administration of the Crime Victims Fund, which provides federal grants to supplement state victim compensation and assistance programs. She will also oversee training and technical assistance programs for those who work with victims and develop projects to enhance victims' rights and services.

OVC also responds to multiple victim tragedies such as Pan Am flight 103, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Capitol Hill and school shootings and the embassy bombing in Africa. Community crisis response teams assist victims on site through crisis counseling, debriefings and trainings in the aftermath of criminal incidents that have significant impact on communities.

More information about OVC and its programs is available at OVC's Website and at OJP's Website or by calling the Office for Victims of Crime Resource Center toll-free on 1-800/627-6872.



After hours contact: Linda Mansour on 202/616-3534 or page on 202/516-6843