WASHINGTON – The Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime, a division of the Office of Justice Programs, presented Professor Paul G. Cassell the Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award. This National Crime Victims’ Service Awards category honors individuals whose leadership, vision and innovation have led to significant changes in public policy and practice that benefit crime victims.
“Professor Cassell has had a monumental impact on the victims’ rights field,” said Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katherine T. Sullivan. “His decades-long passion for the just and equal treatment of crime victims has touched countless lives. Today we honor him for his service.”
In addition to being instrumental in the passage of Utah’s Victim’s Rights Amendment in November 1994, Professor Cassell was a key member of the National Victims Constitutional Amendment Network, which led Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to support a federal Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment. Currently, Professor Cassell teaches criminal procedure, crime victims’ rights, criminal law and related classes at S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. He has published numerous law review articles on criminal justice issues in legal journals and co-authored the nation’s only law school textbook on crime victims’ rights, Victims in Criminal Procedure.
Professor Cassell’s advocacy extends beyond the classroom, as he has argued pro bono cases relating to crime victims’ rights before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Utah Supreme Court, the Arizona Supreme Court and several U.S. District Courts and Circuit Courts.
“We gratefully recognize Professor Cassell’s life-long work, which has yielded enduring protections for thousands of victims in the criminal justice process,” said OVC Director Jessica E. Hart. “His tireless efforts have truly made a world of difference.”
The Office for Victims of Crime leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. President Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, calling for greater sensitivity to the rights and needs of victims. This year’s observance took place April 19-25 and featured the theme, “Seek Justice | Ensure Victims’ Rights | Inspire Hope.” The award recipients were honored privately and virtually with friends, family and Office of Justice Programs leadership.
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