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Victims of crime

"OVC's Report to the Nation summarizes the progress made in upholding crime victims' rights and providing high-quality services to victims, survivors, and communities during fiscal years 2013-2014. The report highlights innovative programs and victim-centered initiatives, summarizes financial support to states and U.S. territories, and provides insight into OVC's strategic efforts to address both emerging and enduring challenges in order to expand and enhance victim assistance throughout the Nation." Sections comprising this report include: introduction; message from the OVC Director; the Crime Victims Fund; Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) compensation and assistance statistics; VOCA compensation highlights; VOCA assistance highlights; data and research; innovative practices; direct services; capacity building; reaching all victims; and public awareness.

2015 OVC Report to the Nation, Fiscal Years 2013-2014: Building Capacity Through Research, Innovation, Technology, and Training Cover

This annual suite of resources includes a variety of user-friendly sample materials, current statistics, professional artwork, and tutorials—all designed to help you quickly and capably develop and implement public awareness campaigns for NCVRW and throughout the year. This year’s theme—Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims—emphasizes the importance of inclusion in victim services. The theme addresses how the crime victims field can better ensure that every crime victim has access to services and support and how professionals, organizations, and communities can work in tandem to reach all victims.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Poster

"While victims are not the primary client for you as a tribal probation officer [TPO], you are in a unique position to provide them with critical information and link them with services. This bulletin is designed to provide TPOs with a brief overview of victims’ rights, tips to help coordinate and improve the delivery of victim services, and information about the varied services available to victims of crime" (p. 3). Sections of this publication cover: why tribal probation officers should be concerned about crime victims; the impact of crime on victims; eight specific victims' rights under federal law; barriers to victim participation in criminal and tribal justice processes; victims' rights and related services—safety and reasonable protection, confidentiality, notification and information, participation, victim input, restitution and other legal/financial obligations (LFOs), and victim compensation; effective communication with victims; collaboration for victims' rights implementation and victim assistance services—federal victim services, tribal victim services, and state and local victim services; services for crime victims and survivors; National Information and Referral Resources for Crime Victim/Survivor Assistance—20 national toll-free information, assistance, and referral numbers; and victim/offender and restorative justice programs.

A Tribal Probation Officers Guide to Working with Victims cover

Crime is everyone's business. It affects entire communities. Too often, crime victims are left to fend for themselves or are forgotten, especially after the court process. Significant progress has been made in corrections-based victim services over the past two decades. Yet, true excellence in victim services can only be achieved through active collaboration.

This interactive, multidisciplinary program examines the need for a collaborative approach to corrections-based victim services. In addition, it highlights the importance of victim-centered responses by corrections, allied professionals, and the community in addressing the rights, needs, and traumas of crime victims.

Participants will: gain increased sensitivity towards crime victims and describe how crime affects people; identify and apply various methods and strategies to hold offenders accountable for the harm they have caused; identify and plan responsive strategies for corrections-based victim services in partnership with other justice and community stakeholders; develop a plan to measure victim services effectively in your jurisdiction; identify local and national resources and develop action plans for victim services collaboration; and create connections to help provide seamless services throughout corrections.

The intended outcome of this training is to empower agencies to take a leadership role in the development and delivery of victim services training to meet their specific system requirements. This training will be supplemented with resource materials that states, jurisdictions, and agencies may use in the development and management of victim services training.

Facilitator and participant manuals are also included.

Achieving Excellence in Correctional Victim Services Through Collaboration  Cover

Considering multiple aspects of individuals’ identities and lived experiences allows for a clearer picture of crime victims’ unique needs and potential barriers to help-seeking. In this annotated bibliography, the Center for Victim Research Library collected research about male victims*, with sections on men from rural communities, Indigenous men, men and boys in criminal and juvenile justice systems, and undocumented immigrant men. While most articles in this bibliography focus  on heterosexual, cis, adult men, a few articles discuss emerging adults and youth.

*Barriers to service for men can include gendered stigmatization about who experiences violence and crime and who needs help. The language describing victimization can discourage help seeking, especially for people who may not see themselves as victims. This bibliography uses the terms male victims or male survivor, following the language used by each research article.

“Offenders are exposed to violence at higher rates than the general population. Whether exposure to violence contributes to subsequent maladjustment once these individuals are incarcerated, however, is unclear … Inmate maladjustment [the inability of inmates to cope with confinement] threatens the safety and order of correctional institutions, so a thorough understanding of the relative effects of exposure to different forms of violence on maladjustment is important to prison/correctional facility administrators. Using data from the Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities and the Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, we examined the relationship between exposure to violence and maladjustment within and across state operated prisons and correctional facilities in the United States.” Results are presented for: analyses of exposure (direct and indirect) to violence and maladjustment; inmate-level effects on maladjustment; and the main and moderating facility-level effects on maladjustment. The exposure to violence an inmate experiences prior to incarceration increases that inmate’s level of maladjustment with little change across various types of correctional institutions.

Assessing the Relationship between Exposure to Violence and Inmate Maladjustment Within and Across State Correctional Facilities: Final Report Cover

The use of the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) to determine the point at which “victimization and delinquency converge or diverge among youth of different ages” is explained (p. 2). Sections of this bulletin include: defining delinquents, victims, and delinquent-victims in the NatSCEV—history of the survey, definition of victimized versus non victimized youth, definition of delinquent versus non-delinquent youth, categories of delinquent-victims, delinquent youth, and youth who are primarily victims; findings by gender and typology group for delinquents, victims, and delinquent-victims—victimization and delinquency patterns among boys, among girls, and findings regarding other dimensions of adversity; and implications for adolescent development and for intervention and delinquency—age onset of increasing risk for victimization and delinquency, increased risk of both delinquency and victimization for delinquent-victims, and timing of interventions to reduce victimization and delinquency.

Children's Exposure Cover

The Community Services Division coordinates technical assistance, specialized training, and other programs related to probation, parole, and other forms of community-based corrections.

The Division also sponsors the development of publications and materials on topics of interest to community corrections practitioners, and it coordinates an interdisciplinary effort to assist jurisdictions in developing a more rational, cost-effective, and coordinated system of criminal justice sanctions and punishments.

Technical assistance related to Community Corrections is provided on issues such as caseload management, victims programs, employee safety, classification and assessment, and intermediate sanctions. The Division also provides specialized training and other programs that focus on: Executive Leadership and Development; Women Offenders; Evidence-Based Offender Interventions; Inmate Transition to Communities; Workforce Development; and Responding to Probation/Parole Violations.

Division Chief: Holly Busby

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.

In the United States, an average of twenty people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute. This equates to more than ten million abuse victims annually. Domestic violence affects everyone regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality and has devastating consequences that last a lifetime.

  • Nearly 3 in 10 women (29%) and 1 in 10 men (10%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner and report a related impact on their functioning.
  • Nearly, 15% of women (14.8%) and 4% of men have been injured as a result of IPV that included rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
  • Most female victims of intimate partner violence were previously victimized by the same offender, including 77% of females ages 18 to 24, 76% of females ages 25 to 34, and 81% of females ages 35 to 49.
  • Law enforcement officer fatality rates are greatly increased when responding to domestic violence incidents when a firearm is present. (2017 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report)

In response to this continuing issue and its impact on the corrections environment, the National Institute of Corrections will highlight innovative and promising programs that address offender accountability and victim safety in domestic violence cases both in institutional and community supervision settings:

  • Provide information about designing a comprehensive post-conviction domestic violence response program for both offenders and victims.
  • Steps and tools to identify and prioritize your response to offender behavior.
  • Provide resources specifically tailored to the correctional environment.

Harris County Health and Relationship Study 2021

This winter a network of domestic violence service providers and aligned agencies worked together to distribute the Harris County Health and Relationship Study (HCHR). The goal of the HCHR study is to understand the needs of vulnerable Harris County residents impacted by intimate partner violence and COVID-19. The study is a partnership between HCDVCC and the UTMB Center for Violence Prevention. Follow the link to download the study.


"From the creation of Victims Committees at ACA (1987), APPA (1991), and APAI (1992) and the establishment of the National Association of Victim Assistance in Corrections (NAVAC, formerly known as NAVSPIC) and the National Institute of Corrections Network of Post-Conviction Victim Service Providers, the field of corrections has recognized the importance of enforcing victims’ rights in the post-sentencing phases of their cases, and providing services and support to the victims and survivors of the offenders whom they detain and supervise.

"This document marks the first time that the leading national correctional agencies and organizations and their respective victim/survivor-related Committees have joined together on a project that we hope will enhance and promote corrections-based victim services. Outreach to our respective members contributed to these creative ideas about how correctional agencies can partner with victim assistance organizations to promote 2016 NCVRW in six categories: 1. Correctional clients’ fundraising for victim services; 2. Victim/survivor awareness and programming; 3. Correctional staff education; 4. Direct victim and community support; 5. Educational programs; [and] 6. Media relations and public awareness" (p. 1).

Creative Ideas for Institutional and Community Corrections Agencies to Partner with Crime Victim Assistance Organizations and Agencies to Promote 2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Cover


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