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CASA Employee Named "Outstanding Victim Advocate" by Attorney General

CASA's Vanessia Washington was named an "Outstanding Victim Advocate" at the state capital by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on April 13. Vanessia was one of only six recipients of the statewide award.

Press Release from Florida Attorney General

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today awarded law enforcement officers and victim advocates for their outstanding work assisting victims of crime. Attorney General Bondi presented the awards at an annual ceremony commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week at the Florida State Capitol. This year’s theme—Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.—reminds Floridians and the nation of the significant progress made in recognizing victims’ rights and emphasizes the need to expand the reach to marginalized, isolated and other victims who are less likely to seek services on their own.

“Through today’s award recipients and their distinguished service, we can see how a special group of victim advocates and law enforcement officers can truly be life changing for crime victims, as well as empower victims to become survivors,” said Attorney General Bondi.

The award recipients honored today are the following:

· Amanda Brennan, Lead Advocate for the sexual assault services program at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay;

· Tom Hackney, Director of Investigations and Homeland Security for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office;

· Stacy Harvey, Victim Advocate with the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office;

· Jason Newlin, Investigator with the State Attorney’s Office of the Second Judicial Circuit;

· Jennifer Sands, Detective with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office; and

· Vanessia Washington, Victim Advocate with Community Actions Stops Abuse, in St. Petersburg.

The Florida Crime Victims' Bill of Rights states, “Victims of crime or their lawful representatives, including the next of kin of homicide victims, are entitled to the right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard when relevant, at all crucial stages of criminal proceedings, to the extent that these rights do not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.”

For more information on crime victim services offered by the Florida Attorney General’s Office, click

For more information on National Crime Victims Rights Week, click

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