Attorney General Reno Stresses Need for Coordinated Response to Assist Victims of Terrorism

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Reno stressed the
importance of a coordinated response to assist victims of terrorism and mass
violence today at the second National Symposium on Victims of Federal Crime.
The symposium, sponsored by the Justice Department's Office for Victims of
Crime (OVC) and organized by the National Organization for Victim Assistance,
brings together various federal agency representatives to improve services for
victims of federal crime.
    "It's not enough to plan to respond to the physical and criminal aspects
of terrorism," said Reno. "We must also work together with our state and local
counterparts to be prepared to address the terrible emotional and
psychological impact of these crimes, which can extend for many years."
    Reno emphasized that, by sharing information, federal agencies can develop
strategies to coordinate their resources to better serve victims. The Attorney
General also talked about the need to ensure that victims' issues are fully
incorporated into every federal response plan and that those plans include
coordination among first responders, law enforcement, victim services, mental
health professionals, clergy and the media.
    The conference, which began on Monday and will run through Friday, is
providing training for over 900 federal criminal justice personnel,
victim-witness coordinators and social service providers from a broad range of
federal agencies, military installations and U.S. Attorney's Offices with
statutory duties for handling criminal cases and responsibilities toward
federal crime victims. A special "agency day," offered for the first time this
year, will provide an opportunity to improve communications and strategies
within agencies.
    "OVC is proud to have been part of the federal effort to respond to
victims of the several recent terrorist attacks," said Acting OVC Director
Kathryn Turman. "But, we still have much to learn about the lasting impact of
terrorism on victims and on communities. This symposium will provide a high
standard of training on this and other topics of emerging importance in our
work with crime victims."
    Monday's program included remarks by Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder
on children exposed to violence, a federal victim panel and plenary sessions
on lessons learned from the Oklahoma City bombing. Today's program focused on
domestic terrorism and mass casualty response.
    To learn more about OVC and its programs, visit the Office for Victims of
Crime Web site at or the Office of Justice Programs
(OJP) Web site at Or, call the Office for Victims of Crime
Resource Center at 800-627-6872.

    * OJP and its component agencies' press releases are available for use
without restriction.

SOURCE  Office for Victims of Crime