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Victim Services in Rural Law Enforcement (2011 update)

NCJ Number
Date Published
73 pages
This report reviews pilot sites' efforts, activities, approaches, challenges, and successes under a demonstration initiative funded by the U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) intended to advance the development of models for enhancing or establishing victim assistance efforts in rural law enforcement agencies.
Based on the experiences of 17 sites that received OVC funding to establish or improve victim assistance efforts in rural law enforcement, this report reviews the grant project; highlights site activities; identifies core elements and challenges for rural law enforcement-based victim service programs; and presents a design for rural law enforcement agencies interested in initiating victim services. The overview of sites' activities addresses needs assessment methods and results, as well as program variations, impact, and sustainability. In order to obtain information from crime victims, service providers, and law enforcement officers about gaps in victim services, the sites used various approaches, including written and phone surveys, community forums, and focus group discussions. The sites collected data on various factors, including the scope of local crime, community resources and victims' use of those resources, victims' satisfaction with the assistance provided by law enforcement personnel and other service providers, and law enforcement officers' and service providers' perceptions of the effectiveness of victim services. The majority of sites sustained their law enforcement-based victim service initiatives beyond the grant period. Some core elements and challenges of the efforts pertained to support at all levels, coordination and collaboration, the creation and functions of an advisory group, dedicated staff, information-gathering, and the development of an implementation plan. The concluding section guides rural law enforcement agencies in establishing in-house victim service initiatives. Appended list of resources and site summaries

Date Published: January 1, 2011