District Attorney's Office Participates in Annual Victim Rights Conference

On April 23, 2009, the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) held its annual Victim Rights Conference at the Statehouse in Boston.

The conference, held each April in recognition of Crime Victim's Rights Month, brings together victim advocates from across the state to reflect on their work and honor the victims' families and communities impacted by crime.

This year's conference entitled, The Victim Rights Movement: Resilience, Adaptability, and Hope, celebrated the 25 th anniversary of the Massachusetts Victim Bill of Rights which mandates that victims, witnesses and their families are given an active voice and role in the criminal justice system.

Although the Massachusetts bill ensures victims critical rights and services, advocates continue to work tirelessly to advance and strengthen the law so all victims are afforded the safety and dignity they deserve.

Highlights of the conference included a proclamation of Victim Rights Month by Lt. Governor Timothy P. Murray, the awarding of the Gerard D. Downing Leadership Award to Kevin M. Burke, Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, and service award presentations.

The Berkshire District Attorney's Office had three Victim Assistance Advocates honored, Jonathan P. Giracca for 15 years of service, Teri J. McMahon for 10 years of service, and Patricia B. Turner for 25 years of service.

District Attorney Capeless said of the award, "I want to congratulate and thank all three for the outstanding commitment and exemplary service to victims that they have given during their careers, and I am fortunate to be able to rely upon the same from them in the months and years to come."