Minneapolis (5-22-03): -- The Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) is pleased to announce Lori S. Holmes, Training Coordinator for CornerHouse, as the 2003 recipient of the Advancement of Justice Award. Presentation of the award was made May 22 at the HCBA Annual Meeting.
The Advancement of Justice Award is the only award given by the HCBA to recognize the work of a non-lawyer. The award is given to an individual or agency in recognition of contributions toward improving the administration of justice, achieving freedom through law, or increasing the public’s understanding of the legal profession and justice system.
The award was given to Ms. Holmes in recognition of her work at CornerHouse – Interagency Child Abuse Evaluation and Training Center. The mission of CornerHouse is to improve the assessment and investigation of child sexual abuse by focusing on the needs of children who have been abused, and facilitating coordination of those who are mandated to respond.
Ms. Holmes holds a Masters Degree in both Educational Psychology & Counseling, and Political Science (Criminal Justice emphasis) from the University of South Dakota and has served as CornerHouse’s Training Coordinator since 1993. During that time she has interviewed hundreds of children regarding allegations of abuse, and has trained judges, law enforcement agents, and child protection workers regarding forensic interview techniques. Ms. Holmes has been at the forefront of developing forensic interviewing protocols and standards that have been taught in Minnesota and nationally. She has testified extensively in Hennepin County as an expert in child witness interviewing techniques and has served as an advisor on legislative issues.
As a result of the commitment and expertise of Ms. Holmes, child witnesses and possible victims of abuse are interviewed in a more consistent, child-friendly and non-suggestive manner. This in turn means that their testimony is more reliable and better serves the truth-seeking role of the criminal justice system and the child protection system.
The Hennepin County Bar Association, the largest of Minnesota's 21 county bar associations and representing almost half of Minnesota's attorneys, is a private, non-profit organization which provides or supports many free or low-cost services to the public including: Volunteer Lawyers Network which provide free legal advice for low income people; TEL-LAW, a legal information message system available at no charge in local calling areas; Lawyer Referral and Information Services; public education programming; and financial grants through the Bar Foundation.