FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEOVC
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13, 1997202/307-0703

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT GRANT TO IMPROVE SERVICES

FOR VICTIMS OF GANG VIOLENCE

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) today announced a $174,989 grant to Victim Services, Inc. in New York City to develop and test a training and technical assistance program to help victim service providers and criminal justice professionals support and protect victims of gang violence.

"Victims of gang violence are often unidentified, overlooked and ignored, and frequently have fewer resources and less ability to exercise their rights than other victims of violent crime," said OVC Director Aileen Adams. "This grant will help develop the strategies and policies that are essential to meet the unique needs of these victims."

The project will put into effect many of the recommendations included in the OVC report Victims of Gang Violence: A New Frontier in Victim Services, which profiles promising programs that help gang victims and outlines ten proposals to improve services to gang victims nationwide. The report was complied by a group that included victims of gang violence, victim advocates, and representatives from the judiciary, corrections departments and federal agencies.

Victim Services Inc., working with Community Service Programs (CSP) in Orange County, California, will identify and assess current services to victims of gang violence and develop a comprehensive program model utilizing promising approaches described in the report. They will also design a training and technical assistance package, including training materials, to help communities implement the model.

An advisory committee comprised of victims of gang violence, victim advocates, and representatives from law enforcement, courts, victim services, academia, media, and the business community will guide the development of the training and technical assistance package.

Once the training and technical assistance package is completed, it will be tested in two of the sites demonstrating the Comprehensive Community-Wide Approach to Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression Program, which is administered by the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. This program helps communities reduce youth gang activity through community mobilization, opportunities for youth, and gang suppression initiatives.

OVC is the federal government's chief advocate for crime victims and their families. Information about the Victims of Gang Violence project and other OVC programs, resources and conferences is available through the OVC web site at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/ and the OVC Resource Center at 800/627-6872. Copies of Victims of Gang Violence: A New Frontier in Victim Services are also available from the Resource Center.

Information about other bureaus and program offices in the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs is available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov. Media should contact OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.

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OVC97106

After hours, contact: Adam Spector, 202/516-6843