ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed the 2021 Maryland Crime Victims’ Rights Week today by virtually opening this year’s conference and the 31st Memorial Services for Crime Victims’ and Their Families. These events are held annually during Crime Victims’ Rights Week, this year running from April 18 – April 24, 2021 with the theme ‘Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities.’
“This year’s themes are critical elements for making our loved ones and neighbors safer and keeping our community Maryland strong,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our administration is committed to expanding on our progress including securing justice for crime victims, honoring those we have lost to violence, showing continued support for those left behind, and working hard to create a safer Maryland.”
The Maryland State Board of Victim Services, in partnership with the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office, Dorchester County State’s Attorney’s Office, and Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office, sponsored the 31st Memorial Services for Crime Victims and Their Families. Four regional memorial services are held to honor over 5,000 Maryland crime victims of homicide, vehicular manslaughter, and missing crime victims and their families. The services included inspirational speakers, musical performances, and quiet reflection, providing a safe and supportive space for families.
Glenn Fueston, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, presented the Governor’s proclamation for Crime Victims’ Rights Week during the services, highlighting a time to, acknowledge achievements within victim services, expand our commitment to serving victims of crime, honor those who have gone above and beyond in their service to others, and remember crime victims and survivors. Earlier in April, Governor Hogan also issued a proclamation for Crime Victim and Advocate Commemorative Day, an annual observance of Maryland crime victims and the advocates who serve them, and honoring the ongoing work of advocates and the victim service community.
“The Hogan administration is committed to serving victims of crime, and has provided more than $284 million in grant funding for victim services since 2015,” said Executive Director Glenn Fueston. “The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services has been able to assist nearly 991,607 victims in Maryland since 2015.”
The conference was made possible by a collaboration between the Maryland State Board of Victim Services and the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services. Nearly 400 attendees, including representatives of leading victims advocacy and service organizations, gathered virtually to discuss innovative best practices and tools to serve victims of crime in Maryland.
During the conference, Executive Director Fueston presented three Governor’s Victim Assistance Awards. The Virginia Mahoney Award was presented to Karen Darby; the Vincent Roper Memorial Award to Pauline Mandel, Esq., and the Henry Gleim Memorial Award to Rahel Schwartz – all Maryland citizens who went above and beyond the call of duty to assist crime victims.
The Virginia Mahoney Award is given in recognition of a prominent state leader or official who has epitomized true leadership in support of victims’ rights. The Vincent Roper Memorial Award is given in recognition of outstanding work to secure crime victim justice for all in a quiet and selfless manner. The Henry Gleim Memorial Award is given in recognition of outstanding service to crime victims and those who work to serve them.