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Example of a State/Federal Partnership To Provide Victim Assistance Services in a Medical Examiner's Office

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the State of Oklahoma is just one example of a state office that has used Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) federal funds to help families of crime victims. In 1998 and 1999, VOCA funds totaling more than $100,000 enabled the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to provide comprehensive assistance to families of victims killed by homicide and other criminal acts such as terrorism and mass fatalities.

In addition, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s VOCA project for Oklahoma City and Tulsa used VOCA funds to support a family assistance coordinator at each site. The coordinator provides the following services:

  • Monitors all homicide cases.

  • Coordinates family contact with law enforcement agencies and local, state, and federal officials.

  • Assists claimants in applying for crime victim compensation and other benefits.

  • Informs families about autopsies, condition of the bodies, and evidence/property collection.

  • Coordinates delivery of death notifications by working with law enforcement agencies in other states.

  • Serves as court advocate, provides transportation and accompanies families to court, and attends court during the medical examiner’s testimony.

  • Informs families about support services and provides referrals.

The VOCA-funded projects of the Oklahoma City and Tulsa Offices of the Chief Medical Examiner are successful examples of state and federal partnerships dedicated to providing compassionate and professional assistance to crime victims and their families. For more information about program services, contact the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the State of Oklahoma by telephone (405–239–7141) or e-mail (medicalexaminer@ocmeokc.state.ok.us).


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Providing Relief to Families After a Mass Fatality
November 2002
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