U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Good Samaritans: Volunteers Helping Victims Program Handbook and Training Guide

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2009
61 pages
This handbook developed by the Good Samaritans program is offered as a tool for prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, community groups, and faith-based organizations interested in expanding their services to crime victims.
The Good Samaritans program in Mobile, AL developed this handbook with the support of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime to share how they strengthened and expanded the role of partnerships in their community to help communities across the Nation by providing them with the a tool that promotes an understanding of crime victims' issues and how to serve victims of crime. The handbook will increase opportunities for faith- and community-based organizations and victim service professionals to engage volunteers from the community to support their work helping victims of crime. The first section traces the history of the original Good Samaritan program in Mobile and discusses replication efforts in other communities. It covers basic information on how the program is structured, the need for community collaboration, and how volunteers are recruited and trained. The second section is a training guide for volunteers new to crime victim assistance and is designed to help nonprofessional trainers plan and execute an effective training session. Individual modules include lessons on crime in America, the effective Good Samaritan, the victim experience, basic communication skills, providing services, and self-care. Resources are provided to help those learn more about crime victim assistance, volunteering, collaboration building, and other issues important to establishing a Good Samaritan program in their communities. The guidelines and training should be customized to fit the needs of crime victims and volunteers in a particular area.

Date Published: April 1, 2009