Chapter 1


Annually, about 2 million people are injured as a result of violent crime (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1993). In 1992, 23 percent of households in the United States were victimized by a crime of violence or theft (Rand, 1993). In 1992, crime victims lost 17.6 billion in direct costs including losses from property theft or damage, cash losses, medical expenses, and amount of pay lost because of injury or activities related to the crime (Klaus, 1994).

While these statistics are alarming, mere numbers alone cannot fully capture the devastating effects of crime and violence on its victims. Crime is intrusive. It creates a pervasive fear and mistrust. It holds people captive in their homes 
and negatively affects their overall quality of life - physically, psychologically, 
and economically. Then, to compound the trauma many victims experience, they often are further victimized by a criminal justice system that continues to be ill equipped to meet or is indifferent to their needs. 

Significant strides have been made over the last two decades in addressing victims' rights and needs; however, the quest to instill victim rights and services as commonplace and routine practices - in all components of the criminal justice system in all jurisdictions - is a goal that has not yet been realized. The challenge is daunting. Yet, there is hope. More and more community corrections agencies are stepping up to the plate and are responding to crime victims in their communities and across the nation by implementing 

promising victim-related practices within their jurisdictions. Many of these ground breaking agencies and their victim-related practices will be highlighted, in varying degrees, throughout this compendium. Appendix I lists agency contact and resource lists according to chapter topics. 

The importance of establishing a continuum of victims' services will be discussed in this chapter, and the role of probation and parole in serving crime victims will be briefly examined. Specifically, this chapter 
informs the reader about the following:

* Differences in the way offenders and victims are treated in the criminal justice system.

* Ten core elements that should form the foundation of a comprehensive corrections-based victim services program.

* The primary purpose of this document.

A Continuum of Services

To effectively implement the rights of and provide effective services to crime victims, policies, procedures, and programs cannot be created or implemented in a vacuum. It requires a coordinated effort among all components along the criminal justice continuum (i.e., law enforcement, prosecution, courts, probation, corrections, parole). The following fictional scenario illustrates the value and rewards that could be gained for victims and the criminal justice system if effective and efficient services to victims of crime were provided consistently throughout the criminal justice process. 

Chapter 1: Introduction

A Victim's Story

Seventy-nine-year-old Marie Harris had looked forward to a day of 
shopping for a long time. She was recuperating from cataract surgery and now had been pronounced fit to drive her car again. Marie had saved some money from the last few pension checks and planned to do Christmas shopping for her grandchildren early to avoid the crowds.

She headed out after lunch that day to the new mall where she hoped some advertised bargains would still be available. Marie found upon arriving that a lot of others had the same plan; the mall parking lots were jammed with cars. But being in good health, Marie felt it okay to park in a distant lot and take the walk to the store's entrance.

Marie knew something was wrong as soon as she pushed the door lock button. Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of a man running up fast behind her between the rows of cars. Before she could turn around and assess the situation, this man had lunged, grabbed her, and with a powerful pull jerked her purse away. Knocked off balance by the pull, Marie stumbled and fell hard to the pavement. She heard the man's running steps diminish as he vanished with her purse and the shopping money within. Trying to regain her feet, Marie felt a knifelike pain in her side and realized she had been seriously hurt. She began to cry. 

Marie's cries alerted another shopper who 
was returning to her car, and she summoned mall security to rush to 
Marie's assistance. The city police and EMS soon followed. Marie was 

transported to the hospital while the officers began the process of investigation. At the emergency room, it was discovered that Marie had suffered two broken ribs and severe contusions in the fall, but she was expected to recover without complications following a few days of hospitalization.

Shortly after being treated in the ER and admitted to a room, Marie was visited by a field worker from the County's Victim Assistance Team (VAT). Team members, deployed in three shifts, make contact with crime victims at hospitals, homes, and offices as soon as possible after an offense. They explain to victims, in general terms, what can be expected in the progression of a criminal case: investigation, witness protocol, protection from retaliation, restitution and crime victim compensation to cover hospital bills. Easy-to-read guidebooks and pamphlets are also left for victims to use as references. The VAT workers remain with the crime victim as long as it takes to answer all questions and to hear what the victim has to say. 

Marie felt somewhat assured after the VAT worker left her bedside, but she was still afraid of what might be in store as her assailant had not yet been caught. Later, she thought of more questions and called the VAT's 24-hour help line to get a response. Meanwhile, the VAT field worker who had visited Marie entered information on a laptop computer setting up a file in this case. This data record was then transmitted to the VAT office, police department, district attorney, and presentence unit of the probation office.

Chapter 1: Introduction

To Marie's relief, detectives soon arrested a young man in connection with her robbery and assault. Marie was immediately notified of the arrest and assured that if the defendant posted a bail bond, the magistrate would order him not to contact the victim in any manner as a condition of the bond. Marie was given the phone number of the Crime Victim Protection Unit (CVPU) at the police department and was advised to call immediately should the defendant or anyone else threaten, harass, or attempt to harm her in connection with the case. She also was given information about the State's automated notification calling system and how she could register to be called in the event of the defendant's release or escape from custody. 

A few days later, Marie was called by a Victim Services Specialist from the prosecutor's office. The Specialist made an appointment to visit Marie, who was now at home recovering from her injuries. Later that week, the Victim Services Specialist accompanied by a Presentence Investigator from the probation department arrived at Marie's house. They spent several hours talking to Marie, briefing her again on the court process and gathering information to be used in the probation department's presentence report. She was given a list of phone numbers and brief descriptions of agencies in the county which provided an array of services to crime victims such as counseling, transportation, short-term financial assistance, 
and emergency protective housing. Marie was encouraged to call the prosecutor's office as often as she wished to obtain updated case information. The Victim Services Specialist told Marie 
that if she wished, 

a case conference could be held with her by the assistant district attorney handling the case. Marie said she would think about it. Marie was also told that she would be contacted, informed, and given the opportunity to comment on any proposed plea bargain in the case. Finally, she was advised that the county's VAT would provide her transportation to the courthouse should she desire to attend her attacker's trial.

Ultimately, Marie decided not to be present at sentencing; she had not objected to a proposed plea-bargain wherein the offender, who had one previous arrest for shoplifting, would receive an 8-year probated sentence. Marie learned from the prosecutor that the offender would be ordered to pay her monetary restitution for all medical expenses and the stolen property. This restitution would also be entered as a civil judgment against the man. He also would be required to spend the first 6 months of his probation in a community correctional facility where an apparent drug abuse problem would be confronted. The offender, Dan Johnson, was ordered not to have any contact with Marie whatsoever. 
A further condition stipulated that he attend a Victim Impact Panel presentation through the probation department. Marie was told that the probation department's Victim Services Coordinator would soon be in touch with her.

Within a week of the trial, Marie received a letter from the probation department advising her that Dan Johnson had indeed received an 8-year probated sentence. Along with this letter, Marie got a copy of the conditions of probation and a crime victims' handbook 
from the probation 

Chapter 1: Introduction

department which explained in clear and simple terms how the probation process and supervision of offenders worked. These written materials were followed by a phone call from the department's Victim Services Coordinator, who encouraged Marie to phone as often as she wished regarding the status of Dan Johnson's probation. She was also given again the names and phone numbers of victims' support groups in the area. Marie was told that if Dan Johnson did not pay restitution as ordered, she would receive her payments from the State's Victim Restitution Reserve Fund, which guaranteed full restitution to crime victims if the offender failed to pay restitution as ordered. 

The Victim Services Coordinator also advised Marie that she would be contacted whenever a change occurred in Dan Johnson's supervision such as a new probation officer assigned, planned modification of the probation order, violation of probation proceeding to 

the court, possible revocation, petition for early release, or discharge from probation. The Victim Services Coordinator also explained to Marie that if Dan Johnson's probation was ever revoked, a Victim Specialist from the State prison would be assigned to her case and would keep her updated on Johnson's prison term. Later, if he was deemed eligible for parole, Marie would have the opportunity to oppose that parole and to personally appear before the Parole Board. Should Dan Johnson be paroled, the State Parole Office Victim Services Section would provide a full array of victim services to Marie, similar to those now being offered by the probation department. No matter where he was in the system,

Dan Johnson would still be responsible for restitution to Marie and would always be forbidden to contact her. Finally, Marie learned that if at some time in the future she wished to participate in victim-offender mediation, that opportunity would be extended to her.

Marie recovered from her injuries in time to buy Christmas presents for her grandchildren. Living alone as a widow, the crime has left her more afraid and nervous than before. She feels that a lot of the peace of mind and security she had previously taken for granted has been stolen from her. She knows now how vulnerable she can be to criminal victimization. Her life has changed. Yet, amidst the physical pain and lasting emotional hurt occasioned by the crime, Marie feels that her dignity as a person remained intact through obvious care and concern demonstrated by those professionals who guided her journey across the criminal justice system. 

From that first visit at the hospital by the Victim Assistance Team worker through her ongoing contact with the probation department's Victim Services Coordinator, Marie has concluded that a lot of people wanted to see good things happen to her in the wake of victimization. Marie does not feel that her rights were trampled while Dan Johnson's were championed. While the hurt and horror of the attack will remain, Marie thinks fondly of those who have helped her. She does not think they were just doing a job! 

It is nothing more really than humans extending care and comfort to others 
in need. Marie tells her friends, "The system works."

Chapter 1: Introduction

The Current Status of 
Victims' Rights

"The system works." This is not a common phrase heard by criminal justice professionals when listening to crime victims talk about their experiences in today's criminal justice system. While the movement toward ensuring justice and healing for our nation's crime victims has made significant progress, much more still needs to be done.

A map indicating States that have passed constitutional amendments relating to victims' rights may be found in Figure 1-1. There is a strong movement on the Federal level as well. 
An amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been introduced that, if passed, would guarantee victims' participatory rights, rights to notice about significant case events, and restitution throughout the criminal justice process. As of December 1998, the amendment had not been voted on by Congress. 

Given these developments, it is clear to see that the victims' movement is strong and active and will continue to affect and shape the way the criminal justice system, including probation and parole, conducts its business. 

Therefore, if community corrections is going to flourish and, indeed, survive in the new age of guaranteed rights for victims of crime, it is imperative that concerted efforts be made
to respond proactively to the needs of crime victim clients. 

Crime victims are speaking out, and they are being heard by legislators and the public. According to Susan Howley, Assistant Director of Legislative Services of the National Center for Victims of Crime (formerly known as the National Victim Center), all 50 States now have a wide variety of statutory rights for victims and, as of 1998, 32 States passed amendments to their constitution to protect the rights of victims of crime. 
Figure 1-1: States with Constitutional Amendments Relating to 
Victims' Rights

States with VRAs

States without VRAs

Source: National Victims Center.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Why Serve Crime Victims?

Crime victims deserve rights and services throughout their involvement in the criminal
justice system - from the time the crime is reported to the police through the criminal proceedings and the corrections process. To achieve this goal, all agencies on the criminal justice continuum (i.e., law enforcement, prosecution, defense counsel, judiciary, probation, institutional corrections, parole) need to develop a comprehensive system of services that are "victim-centered."

In 1997, the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) Victims Committee - with support from the National Center for Victims of Crime's Promising Practices and Strategies in Corrections Project - developed 10 core elements that should form the foundation of a corrections-based (including probation and parole) victim services program (National Center for Victims of Crime, 1997a, pp. 3-4):

1. Incorporate victims' rights and needs into the overall agency mission statement and develop a mission/vision statement specifically for victim services.

2. Designate a full-time staff person to plan and implement a comprehensive victim services program, and victim service representatives at institutions and regional offices to augment the agency's centralized victim services.

3. Provide core services to victims of crime that include notification of offender status; protection from intimidation, harassment and harm; victim input into parole proceedings; victim restitution; and information and referral to supportive services in the community.

4. Create a Victim Advisory Council (comprised of victims and practitioners from corrections, victim services, and allied professionals) to guide program and policy implementation.

5. Establish written policies and procedures for victims' rights and services.

6. Develop a public information plan and outreach program that describes the services and assistance provided to victims by the agency, including an informational brochure and training curriculum for victim service and allied justice professionals.

7. Develop and utilize a training curriculum for orientation and continuing education for all agency staff on victims' rights and needs, agency services and related policies, legislative mandates, and national/State/ community-based services for information and referral.

8. Develop and implement policies, procedures, and protocols on how to respond to incidents when correctional staff are victimized on- or off-the-job.

9. Implement the "Impact of Crime on Victims" program to help offenders understand the impact their crimes have on their victims, communities, and families utilizing the curricula and related resources available from the California Youth Authority.

10. Designate an agency representative to participate in local, State, and regional victim service coalitions and serve as the agency's liaison to the victim services community.

The Role of Probation and Parole

Historically, probation and parole practices have been offender-directed and have ignored or passively responded to the concerns of crime victims. While offender supervision strategies are aimed at protecting the public as a whole from further victimization, the interests of individual victims often are lost among the

Chapter 1: Introduction

burgeoning caseloads of offenders and the accompanying paperwork. It is imperative for probation and parole agencies to transform these offender-directed practices into those that are also victim-centered. More importantly, perhaps, practices should be principle-centered and address issues common to all sides such as accountability, restoration, rationality, efficiency, and fairness.

In addition to being the "right thing to do," there are several practical reasons for making the provision of services to victims a priority within probation and parole agencies. First, probation and parole have access to both general and offender-specific information that could address victims' informational needs and concerns. Just knowing how probation and parole work, an offender's custody status, and that offenders will be held accountable for their actions (e.g., through the payment of restitution or other supervisory conditions) often is enough to ease the fears and frustrations of victims. Additionally, probation and parole professionals are familiar with the services available within the community to address offender needs. Victims have many of these same needs and could, therefore, benefit from this information.

Second, there is a continuing need for the profession to identify victims as consumers or clients of probation and parole services. Often victims are seen as being at odds with probation and parole. Agencies such as the Tarrant County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services, and the California Department of Corrections have implemented comprehensive victims' services and have come to recognize that victims' groups can be powerful allies of probation and parole if given the opportunity. Once invited into the folds of the system and educated on the mission of probation and parole, victims' groups have, 

in fact, provided support for probation and parole services and spoken on their behalf in front of legislative bodies.

Third, victims' groups can be effective in educating the general public about the mission of probation and parole and, consequently, can enhance their public image. The nature of the services provided by probation and parole, and the nature of the persons directly served are generally viewed negatively; probation and parole are not in the business of serving "deserving" constituents. This often alienates probation and parole agencies, keeping them literally estranged from the majority of people to whom they provide the service of ensuring public safety. Typically, the public hears about probation and parole only after an offender under community supervision commits a heinous crime. Providing victim services increases awareness of probation and parole programs and demonstrates a true commitment to protecting public interests.

Fourth, in addition to being allies of probation and parole at a policy level, victim involvement may be a helpful therapeutic agent in individual cases. 
For example, victim-offender mediation programs bring an offender and the victim together for a face-to-face meeting to discuss possible resolutions for victims' losses, such as a payment schedule for restitution, a letter of apology, or the performance of community service (Sinclair, 1994). Involvement in mediation programs may help both the victim and the offender realize things about each other that can reduce their respective rationalizations (e.g., offenders' perception that "no harm" was caused, and victims' misconceptions of "offenders-as-demons"). The payment of restitution also is therapeutic; it holds offenders accountable for the harm they caused and assists in helping the victim reconstruct his/her life through monetary compensation.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Lastly, providing victim services will help probation and parole agencies develop partnerships with other criminal justice entities. These partnerships can lead to enhanced credibility for probation and parole and a collaborative approach to serving victims and communities. 

As public service agencies, and a key component of the criminal justice system, probation and parole agencies should concern themselves with justice for all citizens. While the primary avenue for achieving this justice may be through the provision of supervision and services to offenders, it does not have to be at the exclusion of serving others impacted by crime.

Promising Victim-Related 
Probation and Parole Practices

As demonstrated throughout this document, probation and parole agencies can, and often do, provide valuable services to victims of crime. Some of 
the more common victim services within probation and parole agencies include the following: 

* Assessment of victim impact.
* Victim notification.
* Restitution collection.
* Referrals to services. 
* Victim protection.
* Education about probation and parole.

The extent to which these services are present varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; however, they have become more prevalent over the past decade. More innovative services now include victim/offender mediation, circle sentencing, and victim impact panels. Some agencies have developed specialized units for addressing crime victims' needs, while other agencies incorporate victim-related programs and 

responsibilities within the duties of generalized probation and parole officers. Several probation and parole agencies around the country have recognized the special needs of victims of family violence and have developed programs and services designed to ensure their safety and to empower them. An emerging trend is for agencies to make complete agency-wide paradigm shifts to a model of restorative justice with the primary concern being repairing the damage or harm done to victims and the community through victim involvement, mediation, and reparation (Bazemore, 1994). The need for training staff on the impact of crime on victims and related issues, as well as the need to identify ways to prevent and respond to probation and parole professionals who are victimized on- or off-the-job, are other areas that probation and parole agencies are beginning to address.

Making a Commitment to 
Implement Victim Services

There are many elements and issues to consider when designing, developing, and evaluating an effective victim services program. The process is challenging; however, it will yield many rewards if undertaken with the appropriate degree of thought, consideration, and effort. 

"The development of a comprehensive philosophy upon which agency programs and practices are based requires the examination of the following:

* Values inherent in the agency.
* The agency mission statement.
* Goals of the agency.
* Activities performed to accomplish the goals.
* Measures for determining how well the activities are being performed and what impact they are having" (Fulton, 1996, p. 32).

Chapter 1: Introduction

Alignment of these key organizational practices enhances an agency's chances for successfully involving and serving crime victims in a long-lasting and purposeful way.

Commitment from the leadership of the agency and buy-in and involvement of line staff are essential ingredients for the development and implementation of effective services for victims of crime within the agency's structure. Failure to recognize victims as clients or lackadaisical support for the implementation and provision of victim services within the department will result in haphazard delivery of services and the continued frustration of crime victims with the probation and parole process.

A critical step to implementing victim-related practices within probation and parole agencies is to clarify and communicate agency values. Values shape decisions, actions, and hence, results for individuals and organizations. A probation or parole agency may have a mission statement that states it will, "provide assistance to victims to include keeping them informed of the status of their respective cases;" however, if the organization does not really value the victim's input, it will not be practiced. Values serve as the motivating factor behind
agency policies and practices, from the hiring of staff, to the supervision of offenders, to monitoring and evaluation. Establishing and expressing values convey a positive identity and promote an understanding about the beliefs and priorities of an organization - both to internal and external stakeholders (Fulton, 1996).

Once the new values are declared, they must be embraced by the organization and integrated into the way the agency staff perform their roles. So, when initiating new programs and practices discussed in this compendium, especially those that may be different in nature from those typically or currently performed, agencies should set in place a mechanism for monitoring and 

evaluating the achievement of established goals, activities, and outcomes. 

Performance-based measures can be extremely useful in helping agencies determine if the services being provided 
to victims within their agencies are (1) being implemented as designed, and (2) meeting the information and other needs and interests of crime victims within their jurisdiction. Simply stated, through the use of process and outcome measures, performance-based measures are designed to provide agencies with a mechanism for assessing what they do and how well they do it. A performance-based strategy can also improve an agency's practices by offering the agency and staff a chance to define their true values and translate them into action and results. They provide a basis for program modification and improvements and a mechanism for linking employee evaluation to the agency's mission (Boone and Fulton, 1995). 

More indepth information on the development and implementation of performance-based measures can be found in Boone's and Fulton's Results-Driven Management: Implementing Performance-Based Measures in Community Corrections. A chapter from that document on supporting crime victims is included in Appendix A. 

Purpose of This Compendium
Simply saying that a probation and parole agency provides the services mentioned above does not necessarily mean that the services they have implemented are truly promising or innovative. Many times agencies may be only scratching the 
surface in the delivery of these services. So, what elements should agencies strive to implement when designing programs and services for victims of crime? This compendium is designed 
to identify elements of exemplary victim-related 

Chapter 1: Introduction

probation and parole practices and provide agencies with specific direction for the development and implementation of promising victim-related services and programs. It is recognized that the extent to which probation and parole agencies 
will be able to implement the elements described within this document will vary according to statutory or local policy, procedural constraints, and resources. Topics to be discussed in ensuing chapters include the following:
* Victim impact and victim notification.
* Restitution management.
* Victim-offender programs. 
* Family violence.
* Workplace violence. 
* Staff training on victim issues. 
* Community relations and outreach strategies.

Within this compendium, the term "community corrections" is used to connote probation and parole agencies. Much of the information, however, is also appropriate for other agencies that supervise offenders in the community such as those providing aftercare or sanction specific services. 

The agencies highlighted in this document represent only a small sample of the many initiatives in place across the country. It would be impossible, within the parameters of this document, to highlight the many different promising victim-related practices and programs that have been implemented in probation and parole agencies nationally. In the quest to continue getting the word out about creative and innovative victim service programs, community corrections professionals are encouraged to take advantage of every opportunity to share information and promote the promising strategies and programs they have implemented for crime victims. 

How to Use This Compendium

When read in its entirety, this compendium outlines a comprehensive approach for serving crime victims in probation and parole. However, it is possible to treat each chapter as a stand alone document. Each chapter focuses on a different type of 
service that probation and parole agencies can provide to crime victims, thus, making it relatively easy for administrators or practitioners to identify what chapter will contain information to meet their specific needs and interests.

All chapters begin with identifying key elements to providing effective services within the specified topic area. Then, where possible, points are illustrated by providing examples of probation and parole agencies that have implemented practices 
or strategies that relate to the identified key elements. It is not possible to provide exhaustive information about each highlighted program's practices; therefore, a contact list for each chapter is provided in Appendix I. Readers can obtain more specific and indepth information from agencies about strategies which interest them. Appendixes also have been included 
which contain sample documents and helpful resources to assist jurisdictions in replicating or implementing practices featured.

The day when the needs of all victims of crime are adequately addressed within the criminal justice system, and more specifically probation and parole, has not yet dawned. However, the number of probation and parole professionals that recognize the need to place crime victims on a "more even playing field" with offenders is increasing - 
after all, it is the "right and 
just thing to do;" albeit, it is 
not always the easiest thing 
to do. The victims' rights 

Chapter 1: Introduction

movement continues to be a powerful force, and community corrections must rise to the challenge being presented or risk losing their credibility with the public as well as risk losing much needed resources.

Chapter 1: Introduction