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NCJ Number: 77490 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Assessment of Victim/Witness Assistance Projects - National Evaluation Program - Phase 1 Report - Executive Summary
Author(s): R C Cronin; B B Bourque
Corporate Author: American Institutes for Research
Ctr for Effective Collaboration and Practice
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 84
Sponsoring Agency: American Institutes for Research
Washington, DC 20007
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Superintendent of Documents, GPO
Washington, DC 20402
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: J-LEAA-020-78
Sale Source: Superintendent of Documents, GPO
Washington, DC 20402
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This summary report presents an overview of the findings of the National Evaluation Program Phase I assessment of victim/witness assistance projects across the United States and provides conclusions and recommendations for further research.
Abstract: The report discusses the types of victim and witness projects surveyed; describes the resource levels, intervention strategies, and activity levels characteristic of the projects; and reviews the evidence on project impacts and outcomes. The findings were based primarily on field observations at 20 sites; a descriptive mail survey of the project universe which attained an 81 percent response; a systematic review of all project evaluations, published and unpublished; and other available documentation of intermediate and longer term effects. The report identified at least three different intervention models or styles of victim/witness assistance. The first, victim or type I projects, emphasized reducing the trauma of victimization through counseling and referral. They were located mostly in law enforcement agencies and found clients through police reports or response to calls from the crime scene. The second, witness or type II projects, emphasized improved services to witnesses (e.g., scheduling and disposition notification, arrangements for transportation to court, child care while at court); they were located in the courthouse or prosecutor's office. The third, victim-witness or type III projects, combined components of both type I and II projects. The study concluded that local victim/witness assistance projects are now widespread and that most of these projects are delivering the services expected of them. Although the study lacked information about the impact of projects upon victim or witness clients, time savings for witnesses appeared to be an established benefit. For victim projects and components, modest system benefits, like time savings for police, appeared plausible but were not well substantiated. However, there was a substantial confirmation that improved witness notification and management services saved time for system personnel, especially prosecutors and police, and very modestly improved witness appearance rates. The report suggests further research into the alleviation of victim trauma through victim assistance efforts, the benefits to police agencies which cooperate with victim projects, and a comparison of the client and police benefits of two victim service variations: services with an on-scene crisis intervention component and services without on-scene intervention. Footnotes, 6 tables, and a selected bibliography of 30 general and 42 project-specific references are included. Study-related materials and a summary of evaluation findings are appended.
Index Term(s): National Evaluation Program; Victim program evaluation; Victim program surveys; Victim-witness programs; Witness assistance
Note: Series A, number 24.
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