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Tribute to Frank G. Carrington, Esq.

By Edwin Meese III
Attorney General of the United States (1985-88)

When I think of high standards in leadership and ethics, I think of my good friend Frank Carrington who founded the Victims' Assistance Legal Organization (VALOR) and is considered to be "the father of the victims' rights movement." Frank gave his heart and soul to legal advocacy and assistance for crime victims. He was truly a pioneer whose vision shaped the early grassroots victims' movement and planted many seeds that grew into the full-fledged profession of today. Frank's untimely death in 1992 was a devastating blow to the field of victim assistance.

On January 22, 1992, Congressman Ramstad of Minnesota entered into the Congressional Record a fitting tribute to Frank Carrington, which had been written by my colleague Donald Baldwin:


"Frank touched the lives of thousands of people: those with the highest levels of accomplishments as well as those who had no resources of any kind, but whose causes were desperate and whose needs were great. He was never too busy. He was never too overworked; at least, that was the impression he gave to those who called him for advice and counsel . . . both professional and personal.

He was a good man, kind, and considerate of everyone. Frank epitomized what our Lord tells us about real compassion-that true caring for people involves more than just words or feelings. It involves action. The standards of excellence, compassion, and commitment described by Mr. Baldwin are the ethical foundation for the victim assistance movement. If victim assistance workers challenge themselves and their profession to meet such standards, they will honor the vision and heroism of Frank Carrington."

Excerpted from the Foreword by Edwin Meese III in Ethics in Victim Services (VALOR/Sidran 2005)


© 2005 Victims' Assistance Legal Organization