U.S. flag

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

Serving Crime Victims and Witnesses 2nd Edition

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 1997
183 pages
This publication provides a detailed discussion of strategies for planning, implementing, and refining victim assistance programs, with examples of program operations and activities as well as suggestions for resources.
It is intended primarily as a guidebook for directors and other staff of existing victim assistance programs, planners who are designing a new program, and agency supervisors and administrators who may wish to sponsor a program. A discussion of emerging trends and responses notes that although many programs remain focused on basic services to crime victims, some programs have begun to extend their outreach and services to so-called "derivative victims," including traumatized witnesses to and survivors of violent crime and victims of environmental and other disasters. A chapter on the development and improvement in victim assistance programs advises that in starting victim assistance programs, planners must assess victims' needs, develop appropriate program goals and objectives, identify target populations for services, develop the mix of services to be delivered, and stimulate and maintain public awareness and support. Structural alternatives are discussed in another chapter. The discussion indicates that most victim assistance programs are affiliated with a prosecutor's office, law enforcement agency, or private nonprofit organization; however, an increasing number of departments of corrections, probation, and parole are sponsoring victim assistance programs. Other chapters address the development of effective relationships with other organizations, case processing and conducting outreach, the provision of victim services, training and supervising staff, the maintenance of program support and the assessment of the victim assistance program, and funding victim assistance programs. 13 figures and appended supplementary materials

Date Published: February 1, 1997