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Denise Pena

Community Justice Manager, Victim Services Unit, Department of Community Justice, Portland, OR
Denise Pena has over 20 years experience in ensuring the safety of victims, both from the perspective of offender supervision and victim advocacy. Denise manages the Victim Services Unit at the Department of Community Justice (DCJ) in Portland, OR. Since the unit’s creation, she has worked to ensure that victims’ rights are reflected in DCJ policy and how those policies are operationalized. Under her direction, this unit has moved from policy-only work to providing direct services through an in-house advocate to victims and offenders who are also victims. Denise is considered an expert on domestic violence, crime victims’ rights, and the role offender supervision plays in victim restoration. She has presented locally and nationally to law enforcement and victim service providers. In 2016, she won the National Crime Victims Law Institute’s Voices for Justice Award for her service ensuring our justice systems honors victims’ voices and promotes systematic change to improve justice for all victims. In 2018 she was awarded the Joe Kegans Award for Victim Services in Probation and Parole, an annual award given out at the American Probation and Parole Association institute.