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NCJRS Abstract

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  NCJ Number: NCJ 203198   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
  Title: National Evaluation of State Victims of Crime Act Assistance and Compensation Programs: Trends and Strategies for the Future
  Document URL: PDF 
  Author(s): Lisa Newmark ; Judy Bonderman ; Barbara Smith ; Blaine Liner
  Corporate Author: The Urban Institute
United States of America
  Date Published: 3/2003
  Page Count: 478
  Annotation: This study assessed the efficiency and effectiveness of crime victim compensation and Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) assistance programs that are funded in part by Federal VOCA funds.
  Abstract: The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has disbursed over $3.7 billion in collections from Federal offenders into the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) from 1986 to 2002. These funds are utilized to support direct payments to victims, survivors, and compensation for crime-related expenses. One of the goals of the VOCA is to provide funds to victim assistance and victim compensation programs that deliver a seamless web of financial, emotional, psychological, and physical support to victims of crimes. As such, the research team conducted telephone interviews, site visits, and focus groups with State administrators, members of oversight bodies, victim advocacy groups, VOCA-funded local providers, victims claiming compensation, and victims accessing direct service programs in order to assess the use and effectiveness of VOCA-funded programs. The evaluation found that many compensation programs have enhanced services to clients in recent years by improving policies and case processing for clients. The report encourages the continued expansion of this trend, especially since Federal allocations to VOCA have been increased. It is recommended that programs develop needs assessments, strategic planning, coordination, and automation in order to further enhance client services. Outreach to underserved populations and streamlining of procedures are also discussed as areas for improvement. Additionally, although most victim claims are approved, the report suggests that methods for explaining denials and appeals options need improvement. Next, the report shows that State programs administering compensation funds and those providing community-level direct services have functioned well during financially trying times. Recommendations on how to better utilize VOCA funds are offered, such as making VOCA funds available for critical administrative activities and for expanding services for underserved populations. One crucial aspect of ensuring efficient program operations and effectiveness is to increase coordination between compensation and VOCA assistance programs, and among VOCA and other crime service funding streams. Cross-training of compensation and assistance staff, referral materials and other resources, and involvement in other agency’s decisionmaking processes are identified as the main ways in which interagency coordination may be accomplished. Tables, figures, references, appendix
  Main Term(s): Victim program evaluation
  Index Term(s): Victim compensation ; Victim services ; Victim counseling ; Financial assistance to victims ; NIJ grant-related documents ; Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)
  Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Grant Number: 98-VF-GX-0016
  Sale Source: The Urban Institute
2100 M Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
  Type: Program/Project Evaluation
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
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