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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Sentencing Commission has created a new standing advisory group to provide insight and advice on the operation of the federal sentencing guidelines from the perspective of victims of federal crime. The initial Victims Advisory Group (VAG) will be composed of six members representing the spectrum of interest groups and organizations interested in victims’ issues at the federal level. “The Commission’s formation of a standing victims advisory group represents its interest in receiving input on victims issues associated with federal crimes as they relate to the Commission’s work,” said Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, commission chair. Group members were selected from a broad array of applicants who could offer a victim-centered perspective on federal sentencing issues and play a key educational role in disseminating sentencing-related information to victims groups and other interested advocacy groups. Mary Lou Leary, executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, will serve as chair of the VAG. The other members of the VAG are: Douglas E. Beloof, director, National Crime Victim Law Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School; Russell P. Butler, executive director of Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center; Montie R. Deer of the University of Tulsa College of Law; Pat Sekaquaptewa, executive director of The Nakwatsvewat Institute; and Howard Zehr of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

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