McGrath Honors Two Victims’ Advocates
HELENA – Attorney General Mike McGrath is honoring two Montanans dedicated to assisting crime victims, praising their efforts to make victims and witnesses feel more comfortable in the legal system.
Recipients of the 2001 Attorney General’s Outstanding Crime Victims Advocate Award are:
- Dana Milton of Roundup, who for four years has been the victim witness advocate for Musselshell and Golden Valley counties. In that capacity, Milton works with victims of child abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse and sexual assault. Because she works in a rural area with few resources, in addition to her other duties, Milton spends a great deal of time transporting abused and neglected children to and from appointments. She has also had her Golden Retriever, Macy, certified as a “therapy dog” and obtained permission from local judges to allow Macy into the courtroom with young victims.
- Susan Schwarz of Kalispell, selected for her efforts to make the justice system and her community more aware of victims’ needs. Schwarz has been involved in victims services for 11 years, first as a volunteer and, for the past two years, as the victim witness advocate for the Violence Free Crisis Line. Schwarz’s professionalism was credited with building support for victims services with judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys.
McGrath presented the award to Milton in Roundup earlier this month, and to Schwarz at a surprise presentation as he opened a conference in Kalispell last week. The Attorney General presents the awards as part of National Crime Victims rights Week, which is celebrated nationwide to acknowledge the role and rights of victims of crime.
McGrath noted that, like the outstanding advocates he was honoring, the new Office of Victims Services he had successfully proposed to the Legislature sought to elevate the status of victims and their rights, and to emphasize that victims deserve comprehensive, quality services.