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Survey of Law Enforcement-Based Victim Services

NCJ Number
Bailey Maryfield, M.S. ; Bradley Brick, Ph.D.; Susannah Tapp, Ph.D.; Susan Smith Howley, J.D
Date Published
April 2021
6 pages

This “research brief” from the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA) presents the methodology and results from the first wave of the administration of a survey of law enforcement-based victim services programs.


The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), with funding from the U.S. Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), partnered with the JRSA and the Center for Victim Research on the Law Enforcement-Based Victim Services (LEV) Program in administering a survey of law enforcement-based victim services programs. Survey results are expected to clarify the current state of law enforcement-based victim services and identify needs for technical assistance to improve these services. The first of two survey waves targeted law enforcement-based victims services programs funded under the OVC Law Enforcement-Based Victim Services (LEV) Program and/or OVC Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding. Follow-up interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of survey respondents. The current research brief first describes the methodology of the Wave 1 survey, including the development of the sample frame, the development of the survey instrument, and the administering of the survey. Of the 498 agencies in the sample, 201 responded (about 40 percent). A total of 180 agencies had provided victim services in the past 6 months. Of the responding agencies, 83 percent indicated they provide services to crime victims with a specialized victim-services unit. The agencies had been providing victim services an average of 18 years. Respondents represented 42 states that encompassed all regions of the United States. On average, victim service programs had provided services to 1,458 victims in 2019. Of the responding agencies, 54 percent had two or fewer full-time employees in the victim services program; 74 percent used volunteers in addition to paid staff.