FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Relations ManagerDenise.Harrison@projectjason.org
U. S. Justice Department Names Project Jason President Kelly Jolkowski 2010 Volunteer for Victims Honoree
Mother of missing son honored for helping other families cope when their loved ones go missing
OMAHA, NE and WASHINGTON D.C. – April 16, 2010 – The U.S. Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) today named Kelly Jolkowski as the 2010 Volunteer for Victims Honoree. The announcement came at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony Friday, April 16, 2010 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. The awards are part of the OVC’s National Crime Victims Rights Week, April 18-24. Jolkowski was one of eight people honored by the U.S. Justice Department for their work assisting victims of crime. Left to right: Joye Frost, Acting Director for the OVC, Laurie O. Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the OJP, Kelly Jolkowski, and Eric Holder, US Attorney General.
Jolkowski is President and Founder of Omaha, Neb.-based Project Jason, a nonprofit that assists families of missing adults and children. She became a volunteer for the cause of missing persons after her son, Jason, disappeared in 2001. Because Jason’s age placed him as an adult, she found it difficult to identify a source for advice or comfort. She determined no family should experience this loss without assistance, and founded Project Jason, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Ernie Allen, President and CEO of The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said: “We congratulate Kelly Jolkowski, volunteer for families of the missing, for being among the honorees in this year’s National Crime Victims’ Service Awards. We thank the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Victims of Crime for recognizing such a worthy member of our community in such a significant and prominent manner. Furthermore, we applaud Kelly Jolkowski, whose outstanding work on behalf of the missing and their families resulted in this deserved honor today. We are proud of her, and fortunate to benefit from her knowledge, her talents, and her dedication.”
Colleen Nick, CEO of The Morgan Nick Foundation, said: “Our organization has been witness to Kelly's work for a number of years, and we have seen her powerful commitment in action as she guides the families of the missing through their darkest hours,” said Colleen Nick, CEO of The Morgan Nick Foundation, which provides a support network to parents and families of missing children. ”She provides hope and strength for these families and awareness for their missing loved ones. We are delighted that she has been singled out for this distinguished honor.”
“I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of all missing persons, the families who miss them, and in my son’s name,” said Jolkowski upon receiving the award. “The secondary victims, the families, deserve a voice, and to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect as they go through what is undoubtedly the most difficult time in their lives. This is what I do, and for this work to be honored can be a catalyst for the change of the mindset of the public as it pertains to the aid given to these suffering families.” About the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) was established by the 1984 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to oversee diverse programs that benefit victims of crime. OVC provides substantial funding to state victim assistance and compensation programs-the lifeline services that help victims to heal. The agency supports trainings designed to educate criminal justice and allied professionals regarding the rights and needs of crime victims. OVC also sponsors an annual event in April to commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW). OVC is one of seven components within the Office of Justice Programs,About the OVC National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Each April since 1981, OVC has helped lead communities throughout the country in their annual observances of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) by promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/index.htmlNational Crime Victims’ Service Awards
OVC annually recognizes individuals and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims and victim services. The award recipients, who are selected from public nominations in eight categories, are extraordinary individuals and programs that provide services to victims of crime. The honorees are announced just before National Crime Victims’ Rights Week commences and honored at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards (http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/events.htm
The 2010 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony: Friday, April 16, 2010
Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, Washington, DC, 2:00–3:30 p.m. Eastern time.About Project Jason
Project Jason, founded in 2003, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting families of missing persons . The organization offers tactical guidance, emotional support, and hope for families continuing their searches for answers.
The families working with Project Jason benefit from increased public awareness of their missing loved ones through a variety of outreach and educational activities. The families are also guided toward existing resources available to help with their efforts. Project Jason is based in Omaha, Nebraska.
For more information about Project Jason’s objectives, activities and services, go to http://www.projectjason.org
Official Press Release From U.S. Justice Department Office for Victims of Crime Press Release
FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2010 (202) 514-2007 WWW.USDOJ.GOV
TDD (202) 514-1888
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER RECOGNIZES NINE INDIVIDUALS, ONE ORGANIZATION FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO CRIME VICTIMS
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric H. Holder recognized nine individuals and one organization for outstanding work on behalf of crime victims in an awards ceremony hosted by the Department of Justice today.
The Attorney General’s annual victims’ service awards are presented as a prelude to the nation’s observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 18-April 24, 2010. This year’s theme —“Crime Victims’ Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect.” — highlights the importance of affording crime victims these rights and recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to this effort.
The award presentation, along with the Candlelight Observance held yesterday in Washington, D.C., was organized by the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and its Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). In addition to the Attorney General, others participating in the awards ceremony were Laurie O. Robinson, Assistant Attorney General, OJP, and Joye E. Frost, Acting Director, OVC.
The recipients of today’s awards were nominated by their colleagues in the victim service and criminal justice fields. Their awards recognize their courageous responses in the aftermath of a crime, as well as their professional efforts to better serve the needs of victims with disabilities; to assist U.S. citizens victimized outside the United States; and to ensure that victims receive the compensation and other services available to them at the state and local level. The following awards were presented by the Attorney General:
National Crime Victim Service Award: Honors extraordinary efforts in direct service to crime victims. Recipient: Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center (AODVC), Portland, Ore
., assists Americans who are survivors of domestic violence overseas. The center provides a continuum of services, including long-term case management, safety planning and relocation, legal assistance, professional counseling, and assistance with basic needs.
Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services: Recognizes a program, organization, or individual that has helped to expand the reach of victims’ rights and services. Recipient: Gael Strack, San Diego, Calif.
, for advocating for victims of domestic violence and their children. She co-founded the first Family Justice Center in San Diego, Calif., which integrates multiple critical services for domestic violence victims, including legal, medical, and police services, along with counseling, daycare and a comforting environment. In addition, she has taught women, students, and community leaders about the signs of domestic violence through her many co-authored books, articles, classes and trainings. Recipient: Barri Rosenbluth, Austin, Texa
s, for her leadership in the innovative design, policy development, and community engagement related to youth victims of dating and sexual violence. She created and expanded the Austin, Texas-based Expect Respect program, which provides counseling and support groups in the Austin-area for K-12 youth hurt by dating and sexual violence. This program serves thousands of youth and adults each year, and has become a model that is nationally recognized for addressing and preventing dating and sexual violence.
Allied Professional Award: Recognizes an individual or organization outside the victim assistance field for services or contributions to the victims’ field. Recipient: Joanne Archambault, Addy, Wash.
, for her dedication to ensure that crime survivors receive competent, compassionate care, and that dangerous predators are brought to justice. She served for 23 years as a law enforcement officer with the San Diego Police Department. Since retiring, she founded the nonprofit organization, End Violence Against Women (EVAW) International, and Sexual Assault Training & Investigations (SATI) Inc., which helps thousands of multidisciplinary professionals stay current through electronic newsletters, training materials, and other resources available on www.mysati.com
Recipient: Carolyn Morgan, Philadelphia, Pa., for being an outspoken advocate for people with disabilities, particularly those who have been victims of crime. Ms. Morgan, as she is also a person with a disability, has worked with individuals and groups on both the local and state level to build awareness, educate, and foster collaborations with first responders. She co-founded Self-Advocates United As 1, an advocacy group comprised of people with intellectual disabilities.Volunteer for Victims Award: Honors individuals for their uncompensated efforts to reach out to victims.
Recipient: Kelly Jolkowski, Omaha, Neb.
, for assisting families of the missing, following her own experience of her 19-year old son who has been missing since 2001. She and her husband, Jim Jolkowski founded Project Jason, a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide families of the missing with knowledge, raise public awareness about missing loved ones, and try to affect state laws with regard to the manner in which missing persons cases are handled by law enforcement. In a short time, Project Jason has assisted thousands of families, by raising public awareness through the media, disseminating posters, and providing hundreds of referrals.
Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award: Honors an individual whose leadership, vision, and innovation results in significant changes to public policy and practice benefiting crime victims. Recipient: Larry Tackman, Albuquerque, N.M.
, retired as a director of the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission, and has been a diligent and progressive manager of crime victim compensation, victim assistance programs, and victims’ rights in New Mexico. Mr. Tackman was instrumental in the formation of the annual Advocacy in Action Conference and the Basic Victim Advocacy Training in New Mexico, which allows for victim service providers and allied professionals to receive the education and training needed to support the state’s crime victims. In addition, as the first president of the National Association of Victims of Crime Act Assistance Administrators, he helped establish its mission to focus on the identification and replication of promising practices to improve administrative oversight of funding programs to aid crime victims.