Sunday, May 27, 2012

Suzanne McDaniel

As Calvin mentioned in the comments yesterday, Suzanne McDaniel, the founder of the Victim's Assistance Program within the Harris County District Attorney's Office under Carol Vance, passed away last week.

I can't say that I ever met her, but I admire the work of all those in the Victim-Witness field.  As a prosecutor, I can't tell you how many times I relied on the wonderful people in Victim-Witness to hold the hand of a victim's family or a survivor of a violent crime.

The compassion that the good people of Victim-Witness show every day is amazing.  It isn't amazing that they have compassion, exactly.  It is amazing that they are able to get up every day and go to work and have to deal with such sadness.  They lend strength and encouragement where there often is none.

There is a very nice article on Ms. McDaniel in the Chronicle today.  I just wanted to do a post that people around the CJC were welcome to comment on here as well.


Anonymous said...

HCDA has some of the finest social workers, caseworkers, and victim witness professionals in the State.

Things seem to work best with a team approach because EveryONE can't do everyTHING.

Prosecutors prosecute. Investigators investigate. And social service people help the victim get back to normal (or new normal).

Sometimes they are described as "hand-holders." Which, yes, they do. But, they do and are so much more.

They are trained and experts in crisis counseling, assessment, and intervention. They are the ones who educate the victim about all the stages of recovery following a traumatic event. They know who does what in the community and how to get things done.

Thank you to Suzanne McDaniel and all the folks like her. I suspect they have no idea how important they are in the lives of people affected by crime.

Sid Crowley said...

I knew Suzanne when I was with the office in the '80s. She was a really dedicated and overall just plain nice person. Taken from us much too soon.

Anonymous said...

Back in the "70's at the Harris County D.A.'s Office, Suzanne McDaniel at the request and/or with the agreement of Carol Vance, and with the advice and support of Jim Larkin initiated the first Victim/Witness program in the state of Texas. I just mention that for those who didn't read the Chronicle article. It must come as a shock to those who have heard Pat Lykos take credit or imply that she started the Victim Assistance division at the Harris County D.A.'s Office.

Anonymous said...

Thank you gor pointing out it was Suzanne who started the VW program. I was appalled when I saw Lykos claim she started VW. Suzanne was the best. Victims had a real friend and advocate with Suzanne.