Victims

Resource Guide

The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 created a federal victims-compensation account funded by fines assessed in federal criminal convictions and established provision to assist state programs that compensate victims of crimes. As states continue to move toward creating an effective response that meets all of a victim’s needs, every state has passed important legal protections for victims of violent crimes, and more than half of the states have amended their constitutions to guarantee the rights of victims.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.


Featured Resources

Kleiman, Matthew and Cynthia G. Lee. North Carolina Assistant District Attorney/Victim Witness Legal Assistant Workload Assessment. (March 2010). National Center for State Courts.

This report provides a comprehensive evaluation of the number of Assistant District Attorneys and Victim Witness Legal Assistants required for the effective prosecution of cases in North Carolina.

Howley, Susan Smith, et. al. Making Restitution Real. (2011).

Across the country, policymakers, criminal justice officials, and victim advocates are becoming increasingly attuned to the problem of uncollected victim restitution.  The five case studies presented in this document offer valuable solutions to manage this problem.

Compensation

Victim Compensation. (October 2007). NCJRS Provides links to several key publications and programs, such as Crime Victim Compensation from New Directions from the Field: Victim Rights and Services for the 21st Century; State Crime Victim Compensation and Assistance Grant Programs; and State Victim Compensation Programs.
Victims of Crime Act Crime Victims Fund. (September 2005). OVC Fact Sheet This publication describes the Victims of Crime Act Crime Victims Fund and includes victim compensation, victim assistance, and the distribution of victim funds.
Herman, Susan, and Michelle Waul. Repairing the Harm--A New Vision for Crime Victim Compensation in America. (July 2004). National Center for Victims of Crime This document discusses the context of crime (rates, consequences, and costs), victim compensation in America, and lessons learned from beyond our borders, and provides a new vision for victim compensation.
Victim Compensation Overview and National Directory. Office for Victims of Crime, Department of Justice A comprehensive overview of how victim-compensation programs operate is provided, along with a national directory on victim-service programs. This directory provides a detailed description of each state's requirements, benefits, and procedures.

Curriculum and Tools

Promising Practices for Serving Crime Victims With Disabilities Bulletin and Toolkit. (October 2008). Office for Victims of Crime This bulletin provides an overview of the OVC-funded demonstration project to improve the response of criminal justice personnel and victim service providers to people with disabilities.  The companion toolkit includes sample needs assessments, sample forensic protocols, and lessons learned vignettes.
Uekert, Brenda K., Susan Keilitz and John Matthias Capacity Building Tookit for Victim Services Agencies in Pennsylvania. (November 2008). National Center for State Courts

This toolkit provides the essentials for organizational capacity building.  The information and guidance is drawn primarily from the experiences of five victim services agencies. (KFP594.C37 2008)

Whitman, Julie L. Teen Action Toolkit: Building a Youth-Led Response to Teen Victimization. (2007). National Center for Victims of Crime

This comprehensive toolkit provides resources on the impact and dynamics of victimization; community assessments; public awareness and outreach; policy advocacy; peer victim services; evaluation and sustainability, etc.

Ali, Carol Watkins, and Erin Stark. Learning About Victims of Crime: A Training Model for Victim Service Providers and Allied Professionals. (September 2003). OVC Bulletin This document serves as a training model for victim-service providers. It includes a series that documents VS2000 initiatives around the country, describes the importance of training, and provides a curricula for allied professionals.  
Project Roadmap: Charting a Course for Crime Victims in Maryland. (February 2003). National Center for Victims of Crime This document reports on their assessment of Maryland's services for victims and provides recommendations for improving Maryland's service response to crime victims and strengthening their legal protections for victims.
Stoe, Debra A. et al. Using Geographic Information Systems To Map Crime Victim Services: A Guide for State Victims of Crime Act Administrators and Victim Service Providers. (February 2003). Office for Victims of Crime and National Institute of Justice This publication provides administrators and victim-service providers a tool to assess needs, plan and expand programs, and operate more efficiently. 
National Victims` Constitutional Amendment Project. This Denver-based organization has developed a victims' rights educational toolkit.

Funding

State Legislative Approaches to Funding for Victim Services. (December 2003). OVC Bulletin This bulletin provides examples of a variety of approaches that the states have used to fund victim services.

Laws and Legislation

Crime Victims Rights Act of 2004 and the Federal Courts. (October 2005). Federal Judicial Center This document provides an overview of the Crime Victims Rights Act of 2004 and discusses its effects on benchbooks and with other issues.
Model Victims of Crime Act. (2002). National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws Detailed information is provided on this model act, which was endorsed by the American Bar Association and adopted by the state of Montana. 
National Crime Victim Law Institute. Lewis and Clark School of Law This nonprofit research and educational organization works to assert victims’ rights in criminal trial courts. They maintain a resource bank of crime-victim law, assist attorneys who provide assistance to crime victims, work to establish legal clinics nationwide to represent victims in court, and file amicus briefs for victims.
The Rights Established Under the Crime Victims Rights Act of 2004. (2004). Office of Victims` Rights Ombudsman This Web page outlines the rights that are accorded to each crime victim as established by the Crime Victims Rights Act of 2004.
Victim Law . National Center for Victims of Crime This Web site provides a national database of victims' rights laws, explains the justice system to victims, provides a legal glossary, and provides links to many helpful resources on victims.
Victims of Crime Act of 1984. (April 1984). 108th Congress, 2nd Session This act passed the Senate on April 22, 2004 and mandates assistance to and specifies certain rights for crime victims. For further details, see the U.S. Code, Title 42, Chapter 112: Victim Compensation and Assistance.

National Organizations

National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards. NACVCB promotes an exchange of information and ideas through a nationwide network of victim-compensation programs. The association advances better methods for serving crime victims through various training and technical-assistance activities.
National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators. NAVAA's mission is "to advance education, research, and public service to assure accessible quality services for crime victims nationwide, to strengthen exchange of information and communication among its members and to provide its members with training and technical assistance to effectively respond to the issues and challenges of supporting those services."
National Center for Victims of Crime. NCVC provides both direct services and resources on victims to organizations serving victims. They also advocate for the passage of laws and policies and deliver training and technical assistance.
National Crime Victim Bar Association. NCVBA provides technical support to attorneys representing crime victims in civil actions, refers crime victims to lawyers in their local area, and works to increase general awareness about the availability of civil remedies for victims of crime.
National Crime Victim Law Institute. NCVLI’s team of attorneys and its nationwide network of legal clinics and pro bono attorneys are dedicated to protecting, enforcing, and advancing victims’ rights to ensure that victims are recognized as participants in the criminal justice system.
National Organization for Victim Assistance. NOVA is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote rights and services for victims of crime and crisis. They also provide training and information resources.
Office for Victims of Crime. OVC was established by the 1984 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to oversee diverse programs that benefit victims of crime. They provide grants and funding to vicitm-assistance programs. Their Web site provides a host of resources and links to many publications on the topic of victims and victim services.
Victim Offender Mediation Association. VOMA, an international membership association, supports and assists people and communities working on models of restorative justice. VOMA provides resources, training, and technical assistance in victim-offender mediation, conferencing, circles, and related restorative justice practices.
Victim Offender Reconciliation Program. VORP serves as a national information and resource center on victim-offender mediation programs. They also provide consultation and training.

Restorative Justice Victim Offender Programs

California Community Justice Project Resources. Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts

Project descriptions and links for restorative justice, community justice, and victim offender reconciliation programs in California.

Uekert, Brenda K., John Matthias, Susan Keilitz, and Sarah Gibson. Evaluation of the Victim Services Organizational Capacity Building Initiatives: Final Report. (December 2008). National Center for State Courts.

This final report summarizes evaluation activities and presents findings and recommendations for the Pennsylvania Victim Services Organizational Capacity Building Initiatives.  (KFP594.E93 2008)

Umbreit, Mark S., and Jean Greenwood. Guidelines for Victim-Sensitive Victim-Offender Mediation: Restorative Justice Through Dialog. (April 2000). Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking This comprehensive document begins with providing a national perspective on the state of victim-offender mediation in the United States. Guidelines and recommendations are provided for program development. The appendix provides program profiles, national survey results, and promising practices.
The Implementation of Victim Offender Programs and Examples of Victim Offender Programs. (October 2006). Promising Practices and Strategies for Victim Services in Corrections, National Center for Victims of Crime
Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program Information and Resource Center. Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program Includes an article library, training materials, technical assistance and consulting services, and contact information for various programs.

Statistics Research

Harrell, Erika and Michael R. Rand Crime Against People with Disabilities, 2008. (December 2010). Bureau of Justice Statistics This report presents findings about nonfatal violent and property crime experienced in 2008 by persons with disabilities, based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
Beck , Allen J., Paul Guerino, and Paige M. Harrison Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2008-09. (January 2010). Bureau of Justice Statistics This report provides data for national-level and facility-level estimates of sexual victimization based on the 2008-09 National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC).
Kyckelhahn, Tracey, Allen J. Beck, and Thomas H. Cohen Characteristics of Suspected Human Trafficking Incidents, 2007-08. (January 2009). Bureau of Justice Statistics This BJS special report provides a snapshot of the number and characteristics of suspected human trafficking investigations and their outcomes in the U.S.
Baum, Katrina, Shannon Catlano, Michael Rand, and Kristina Rose Stalking Victimization in the United States. (January 2009). Bureau of Justice Statistics This BJS special report provides data from the Supplemental Victimization Survey of stalking behaviors done in 2006.
Harrell, Erika. Black Victims of Violent Crime. (August 2007). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report Comparative data is provided for black victims of violent crime over a five-year period from 2001-2005.
Victims Served State-By-State. (June 2007). VOCA Nationwide Performance Reports, Office for Victims of Crime This state-by-state map of assistance programs across the U.S. provides a host of statistics on victims served by state. 
Snyder, Howard N., and Melissa Sickmund. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report. (March 2006). National Center for Juvenile Justice This comprehensive report provides information on juvenile offenders and victims in the U.S. See especially Chapter 2: Juvenile Victims for national statistics on different types of juvenile victimization.
Crime and Victim Statistics. Bureau of Justice Statistics This Web page provides a summary of findings of the National Crime Victim Survey, including trends in violent victimizations, links to uniform crime reports, homicide trends in the United States, etc.
Criminal Victimization in the U.S. Statistical Tables. Bureau of Justice Statistics This Web page provides statistical tables on crimes of violence, crime characteristics, victim-offender relationships, victim perception of substance abuse, whether crimes were reported to police, and the police response time for reported crimes.
Juveniles as Victims. Statistical Briefing Book This Web page provides answers to a wide range of questions on juveniles as victims and includes statistics and statistical tables.
Victims of Crime Publications. National Criminal Justice Reference Service This national database of reports and publications provides a wide range of articles and reports relating to victims of crime, including reports that provide statistics.

Victim Notification

Larsen, Caroline, and Douglas L. Yearwood. Notifying and Informing Victims of Crime: An Evaluation of North Carolina`s SAVAN System. (February 2004). North Carolina`s Criminal Justice Analysis Center, Governor`s Crime Commission Surveys were conducted with the criminal justice agency and victims. This report provides results of the survey and includes an evaluation of the installation, operation, and maintenance of the SAVAN system, as well as the benefits, impact, and perceived effect of the results. Policy implications and recommendations are also provided.
VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday). The National Victim Notification Network™, VINE allows crime victims across the country to obtain timely and reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders 24 hours a day. Victims and other concerned citizens can inquire about the current status of an inmate and can register to be notified immediately upon a change in the inmate's status, such as a release, escape, or court appearance. VINE is used in many states, including Minnesota, Ohio, Maryland, Nebraska, Kentucky, and New York.
VineLink. VINELink is the online version of VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), the National Victim Notification Network. A national map indicating which states have statewide VINE is provided.

Victims Rights

A Crime Victims` Right to be Present. (January 2002). OVC Legal Series Bulletin, no. 3 This bulletin summarizes existing laws and legislation and discusses important court decisions where courts have addressed the issue of a crime victim's right to be present.
Crime Victims` Rights Laws Database. National Center for Victims of Crime This public online database includes information about constitutional amendments, statutes, court rules and administrative proceedings for the U.S. states and federal government, U.S. territories and many U.S. tribes.
Massachusetts Victim`s Bill of Rights. Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance Provides information on a victim's rights in the court process, such as the right to be informed, to be heard in court, and to receive financial assistance.
Ordering Restitution to the Crime Victim. (November 2002). OVC Legal Services Bulletin, no. 6 This bulletin describes the victim's right to have restitution ordered, eligibility requirements for restitution, losses for which restitution may be ordered, considerations in ordering restitution, and barriers to restitution orders.
Victim Impact Statements. National Center for Victims of Crime An extensive overview of victim impact statements is provided and includes what is a victim impact statement, how and when it is used, the rights of individuals, specifics of the law, etc.
Victims` Rights in the 50 States. Klaas Kids Foundation. Provides links to victims' rights in all 50 states.

Victim Services and Assistance

Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance . (May 2012). Washington, DC: Department of Justice Deputy Attorney General`s Victims` Rights Working Group This document by the Department of Justice includes guidelines on victim rights, general considerations, applicability, services to victims and witnesses, restitution, and handling of certain types of victims.
Directory of Victim Services. Office for Victims of Crime This national database of crime victim services is searchable by location, type of victimization, service needed, and agency type.
Promising Practices for Victim Services in Corrections. (October 2006). National Center for Victims of Crime This report contains three texts that are designed to help adult and juvenile correctional agencies develop and enhance services for victims of crime.
Deer, Sara. Victim Services: Promising Practices in Indian Country. (November 2004). Office for Victims of Crime This publication provides program descriptions for various programs for victims within Indian communities across the country.