Lois Haight Herrington, chairman of the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime, is optimistic about implementation of the recommendations outlined in the panel's final report to President Reagan.
"There's a tremendous interest in this in Congress. It's a bipartisan issue and I don't envision tremendous problems. I think the climate's right for it."
The president, she says, "appeared very excited about it. I know this is a very sincere interest of his, so I know he is very pleased that the report is to him and that we were all unanimous in our recommendations."
Also, people in the administration, including the Justice Department, already have read it and, "They're very enthusiastic. They feel it's comprehensive and they feel it's needed."
Not only that, Herrington says, but she and the other eight members of the task force are going to continue pushing the victims issue, even though their charter officially ended in December. All the members, she says, "are very concerned about making sure that these things get through."
Herrington says she's going to "take a couple of weeks off, and then I'm going to come back in and see what's needed and where it's needed."
The task force offices are closing Feb. 18, but, says Herrington, "We're not dropping this. We have too many victims that are calling in. You can't stir people up and then say, 'Okay, goodbye.' I will still be responding and helping in any way I can."
Herrington, a former private attorney and prosecutor in Oakland, Calif., lives in McLean with her husband, assistant secretary of the Navy John S. Herrington, and their two daughters, Lisa Marie, 16, and Victoria Jean, 15.