Report to Congress
Promising Practices and
- Demonstration/Model Programs
- Comprehensive Programs
- Crime Victims and Juveniles
- Financial Fraud and Economic Crime
- Violence Against Women
- American Indians
OVC funds the development of program and training materials for projects that
can be replicated across the country. Discretionary moneys are used to help develop
national goals and strategies for meeting victims' needs. OVC discretionary grants
also support training for victim services professionals and pay for projects
designed to identify and fill gaps in services in States and local communities.
Another important area of emphasis is improving the response of Federal officials
to the rights and needs of Federal crime victims. OVC uses its annual Discretionary
Grant Program Plan and Grant Application Kit to solicit applications for training,
technical assistance, and demonstration grant programs that target State and local
criminal justice agencies, victim services providers, and allied professionals.
Many of OVC's programs such as the Victim Services 2000 initiative have influenced
communities and changed whole systems.
In FYs 19971998, OVC provided a variety of training and assistance that
contributed toward strengthening the overall response to victims of crime. In
addition, OVC organizational systems, such as its Training and Technical Assistance
Center, Resource Center, and Web site have sustained and reinforced this training
by providing easy access to a full range of resources on crime victim issues
(see chapter 3, "Advocating for Crime Victims' Rights").
OVC uses its annual Discretionary Grant Program Plan and Grant Application
Kit to solicit applications for training, technical assistance, and demonstration
grant programs that target State and local criminal justice agencies, victim
services providers, and allied professionals.
In FYs 19971998, OVC addressed the needs of specific victim populations through
a series of training and technical assistance projects in such areas as working with
grieving children, death notification for survivors of homicide victims, cultural
considerations in assisting crime victims, and violence intervention for victims
with disabilities. Some of OVC's efforts in FYs 19971998 to advance victims' rights
and needs are summarized below.
Promising Practices and Strategies for Victim Services in Corrections.
In August 1998, OVC awarded a grant to the National Center for Victims of Crime
to update and improve curricula on staff victimization in correctional agencies
and critical incidents and to
implement intensive training programs using a "train-the-trainers" approach.
The project augments training packages with comprehensive user-friendly instructor
and participant training materials. The development and testing of much-needed
new resources specific to juvenile corrections and wardens of adult institutions
are part of the grantee's project.
Promising Practices in Restitution. In March 1997, the American Probation and
Parole Association received a grant to examine obstacles to the effective management
of restitution, and to identify and describe a variety of promising approaches used in
the criminal and juvenile justice systems to establish and enforce orders of restitution
and ensure that victims receive the payment due them. The activity of this grant will
produce a bulletin that will serve as a guide for managing and collecting restitution.
The bulletin dissemination targets corrections officials, prosecutors, and probation
and parole personnel.
Promising Practices for Law Enforcement. OVC awarded a grant to the
International Association of Chiefs of Police for a project to identify innovative
policies, procedures, practices, and programs used by law enforcement agencies to
respond to the needs of crime victims, and design a plan for product dissemination.
Because law enforcement officers usually are the first criminal justice responders
to interact with victims, their treatment of victims can profoundly influence their
cooperation with the criminal justice system and how quickly the victim recovers
from the traumatic event. This grant will produce a booklet describing exceptional
practices for working with victims. It is intended for use by law enforcement
In addition, OVC published several videos during the biennium highlighting
various programs throughout the Nation. In October 1997 a 20-minute "call to
action" highlighting innovative programs across the country was produced. The
video, entitled "Promising Practices: Community Partnerships Helping Victims of
Crime," won a Bronze 1998 Telly Award. In April 1998, "Oklahoma City Bombing Special
Awards" was produced and contains two 12-minute video tributes highlighting the
accomplishments of individuals and organizations receiving awards from U.S.
Attorney General Janet Reno for their innovative programs and dedicated advocacy
helping victims of crime. This video won a Silver Award at the 1998 WorldFest
Flagstaff and an Award of Distinction
at The Communicator Awards.
Current OVC funding practices reflect its interest in improving victim services
to victims with disabilities. For example, States receiving VOCA funds may use up
to 1 percent of the State's victim assistance grant to conduct statewide and/or
regional trainings of victim services staff. States are encouraged to use this
option to provide needed training to practitioners on best practices in serving
crime victims with disabilities. Also, OVC is funding several multiyear demonstration
projectsVictim Services 2000designed to serve as models for communities
in rural and urban settings that wish to develop networks of integrated and
comprehensive services for crime victims. Disability needs of crime victims must be
addressed comprehensively in these projects. In FYs 1997, 1998, and 1999, OVC
funded Justice for Deaf Victims, a program specifically designed for the Deaf,
Deaf-Blind, and Hard-of-Hearing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
OVC continued to sponsor demonstration and model programs in FYs 19971998 to
provide the field with critical information for implementing victim strategies from
promising practices grants. Many different professions and crime victims benefit
from these programs. Although they vary in subject, scope, and target audience,
all programs promise to help improve victim services around the country. Several
demonstration projects are described below and are organized under these headings:
comprehensive programs, technology, crime victims and juveniles, financial fraud
and economic crime, violence against women, prosecution, and American Indians.
VS 2000. OVC's Victim Services 2000 project is an integrated victim
services model. The goal of the VS 2000 grants is to improve the range, quality,
and accessibility of services for all types of crime victims. It is expanding points
of entry for victims and putting the most up-to-date resources at their disposal
through provision of a comprehensive, coordinated, and accessible system of
community-based services. Currently, three sites are developing these services
under 5-year grant awards and are serving as laboratories and training sites
for communities seeking to create victim-centered practices and
environments. The sites represent both rural and urban communities and will
evaluate emerging differences in the process of developing models.
Michigan Victim Alliance Web Site Project. The Michigan Victim Alliance
Web Site demonstration project, which began in 1997 with OVC support, sought to
create a statewide crime victims Web site for replication by other interested
States. These States would receive technical assistance and tools from the Michigan
project to help them. The project has already expanded the availability of information
and assistance to crime victims in Michigan. In its first 10 months, the site served
almost 10,000 visitors and generated positive feedback. OVC received a step-by-step
manual and templates on how to replicate the site. The manual is available on the
Michigan and OVC Web sites for downloading.
Implementing an Automated Nationwide Victim Information and Notification
System. The abolishment of the National Fine Center and the return of $21 million
to the CVF gave OVC the opportunity to provide funding support for the creation of
a national automated victim information and notification system in response to the
President's June 1996 Directive.
In June 1998, OVC provided funding to the Executive Office for United States
Attorneys to take the lead in this project, with assistance from a working group
comprised of FBI, OVC, and Federal Bureau of Prisons representatives. The expected
outcome of this system is to develop an automated victims' information database and
a means to provide timely victim notification of offenders' current status in the
Federal criminal justice system among the FBI, U.S. Attorneys' Offices, and the
Federal Bureau of Prisons. One of the system's design features includes the ability
to be easily adapted to other investigative agencies. Planning for a pilot is under
Crime Victims and Juveniles
Safe Harbors Program. Through an OVC grant awarded in August 1997,
Victim Services, Inc., is developing written materials and providing comprehensive
training and technical assistance to sites nationwide to facilitate national
replication of its Safe Harbors Program, a comprehensive school-based victim
assistance/violence prevention program that gives high school and middle school
students a "safe room" in the school where they can go to receive support during
and after the school day. Replication will emphasize coordinating and pilot-testing
the technical assistance
package with OJJDP's Comprehensive Communitywide Approach to Gang Prevention,
Intervention, and Suppression program demonstration sites.
"Thanks for the time and attention you gave to my dad today. It meant a great deal
for him to be able to talk about the incident with someone who understands the
feelings of violation and insecurity that were left by these scam artists. I noticed
a definite improvement in his attitude as a result. Thank you very much for
About a victim who received assistance from the
Office of Victim Services
Financial Fraud and Economic Crime
Elder Financial Exploitation Prevention Program. In FY 1998, OVC awarded a
grant to Senior and Disabled Services Division (SDSD) within Oregon's Department of
Human Resources to develop a program to teach seniors about financial
exploitationincluding telemarketing and other types of fraudand to teach bank
employees how to recognize and report suspected financial exploitation. The project
has resulted in a training kit for bank employees and a program to provide outreach
and educational materials to seniors and peer counseling to victims. Through this
project, OVC seeks to make SDSD its conduit for distributing bank employee training
and senior exploitation materials to other States.
Financial Fraud Products and Resources. Through a grant to the Police
Executive Research Forum (PERF) and the collaborative efforts of a DOJ working group,
OVC produced four important tools for victim advocates dealing with fraud victims.
The fraud victim assistance resource package includes a generic
law enforcement brochure, which provides answers to frequently asked questions about
financial fraud and includes assistance contact information, a more comprehensive
handbook for victims who are participating in the criminal case, and a 20-minute
educational video and companion desk reference/resource guidebook to help
victim/witness coordinators enhance and expand victim services.
Media Products About Financial Fraud. OVC has provided a full range of victim
assistance materials about financial fraud on various formats on its Web site.
The materials allow the field to customize their documents with local or district-specific
information. OVC also developed a video and an electronic, full-color slide presentation
on diskette to help educate the field about financial fraud victims' needs and the
expanded reach of VOCA-funded programs to assist them. Multiple copies of printed
documents, videos, and fact sheets were also made available through OVC's Resource
Center (see Appendix 6, "OVC Publications and
Products, FYs 19971998").
Telemarketing Fraud Projects. Through moneys appropriated by Congress in
FYs 19971998, OVC and BJA funded four innovative projects designed to prevent or
intervene in telemarketing fraud schemes that target elderly citizens, often devastated
by the financial losses incurred through these schemes. Below is a brief description
Telemarketing Fraud Project for Latino Elderly. Begun in FY 1998,
the National Hispanic Council on Aging is collecting information about various
forms of fraud perpetrated in different communities with different Hispanic
subgroups. Two groups were chosen to enable comparisons and development of models
for replication in other settings with different Latino elderly populations.
Operation Fraudstop: A Partnership to Reduce Telemarketing Fraud and
Assist Victims. Begun in spring 1998, Operation Fraudstop capitalizes on existing
partnerships and programs in a jurisdiction, such as community policing and the
TRIAD model in Indian Country, and uses such local resources as the media, various
publications, and private corporations (e.g., Radio Shack and Wal*Mart) to reduce
fraud aimed at seniors.
Telemarketing Fraud Booklet. With help from OVC funds, the Baltimore
County Department of Aging wrote, produced, and widely distributed a booklet aimed
at preventing telemarketing and telephone fraud. The right to reproduce the booklet was
made available to national private-sector organizations for distribution to their members.
Violence Against Women
Stalking Victim Demonstration Project. OVC is awarding funds to the
Florida International University (FIU) Victim Advocacy Center to support a demonstration
project for delivering comprehensive, coordinated services to stalking victims in the
City of Miami and at FIU campuses. FIU will build on current partnerships with public
and private organizations in the criminal justice, victim advocacy, and mental health
fields to develop a replicable community intervention model for national
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Development and Operations Guide.
With funds from OVC, the Sexual Assault Resource Service in Minneapolis, Minnesota,
developed a comprehensive how-to manual for nurses and other community leaders who
wish to establish a multidisciplinary, victim-centered way of responding to sexual
assault victims. This manual focuses on preserving the victim's dignity by lessening
the victim's overall trauma; enhancing the collection of medical evidence
toward better prosecution and fewer delays for both victim and medical personnel;
and promoting community involvement, understanding, and concern for crime victims
and their families. Services are performed by trained, experienced SANE practitioners.
EOUSA/FBI Pilot Victim/Witness Program, Omaha, Nebraska. Building on the
existing collaborative efforts in a community, OVC helped the City of Omaha and
Douglas County, Nebraska, to establish a coordinated case management system that
includes the Federal victim assistance program. The city and county have merged
their victim assistance programs into one facility known as the Omaha/Douglas
County Victim Assistance Unit (VAU), which quickly informs crime victims of case
status. OVC funding enabled communication between the local and Federal victim
assistance programs, as the VAU linked up city and county law enforcement, prosecution,
probation, and victim service functionsresembling VS 2000 but with a Federal
presence that includes the Omaha Office of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office
(USAO) for the District of Nebraska.
Demonstration Project on White-Collar Crime Victimization. OVC funded
a Federal demonstration project on white-collar crime victimization in FY 1998
through a reimbursable agreement with EOUSA and the USAO for the Northern District
of California in San Francisco. This project enhances prosecutorial efforts to
identify defendant assets early in the process and to return those assets to the
victim after conviction. Results of the demonstration will be distributed to other
U.S. Attorney's offices for possible replication.
Tribal Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Programs. OVC continued to
expand its support for Tribal CASA demonstration programs. In FY 1997in cooperation with
OJJDP and the National Court-Appointed Special Advocate AssociationOVC funded Indian
CASA programs so that Tribal courts could assign advocates to represent the best interests
of children. A Tribal court may serve as the American Indian child's only recourse to
protection and justice. In FY 1997, the CASA program was expanded to include four
demonstration programs and the development of guidelines for 17 CASA American Indian
Victim Assistance in Indian Country (VAIC) Exemplary Programs. Several model
Indian Country programs received OVC funding in FYs 19971998. With demonstrated successes,
they hold much potential for replication by other Tribes.
Lummi Victims of Crime, Lummi Tribe, Washington. Since 1990, the Lummi Tribe has
been providing services to crime victims, with strong support from the Tribe and Lummi
law enforcement. The program is an accredited sexual assault service provider in the
State of Washington and is actively seeking funding to expand into a shelter program.
The program's goals are to work with the Tribe to develop a bill of rights for victims
and to obtain a Tribal resolution of support. Lummi victim assistance staff are well
versed in compensation and training standards for advocates and train other programs
as a mentor on many aspects of program development.
AG Tribal Initiative. OVC has continued funding under the U.S. Attorney
General's Indian Country Justice Initiative for its model projects of Laguna/Pueblo
and Northern Cheyenne. The U.S. Attorney General's initiative is designed to address
the most formidable obstacles to vigorous Federal criminal enforcement in Indian
Country. Working with residents of the Laguna/Pueblo and Northern Cheyenne
Reservations, the initiative focuses on systematically reviewing how the Federal
and Tribal justice systems can come together to support crime victims. OVC funding
supports CJA programs, court-appointed special advocates, victim/witness coordinators,
and training and technical assistance at each site. OVC continued to fund the
program in 1999 through its CIRCLE program also initiated through the U.S. Attorney
General's office and awarded by the Office of Justice Programs. Pueblo of Zuni,
Oglala Sioux Tribe, and Northern Cheyenne are under the CIRCLE program.
Legal Education of Tribal and Federal Judges. OVC funded the University of
North Dakota, Tribal Judicial Training Institute, to provide legal education to
Tribal and Federal judges on the adjudication of child sexual abuse cases occurring
in Indian Country and on the relevant Tribal law. OVC coordinated this program with
DOJ's Office of Tribal Justice to include Tribal judges from the Tribal court
projects, the DOJ partnership projects, and other OJP projects for American Indian
Tribal justice officials.
Victims of Crime Services Program (VOCS). OVC supports VOCS through
its VAIC program which serves victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. VOCS has
been used as a model volunteer usage program that recruits, trains, and uses former
victims, high school students, and other community members from the Confederated
Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon, to serve that same community. A total of 15 volunteers
supplement the staff by assisting victims. VOCS is a highly organized program
which serves approximately 260 victims per year by providing shelter, transportation,
counseling for individuals and groups, and many other services including processing
temporary restraining orders.
TRIAD Exemplary Program. In FY 1997, OVC announced funding to adapt the
TRIAD model to Indian Country. TRIAD provides a coordinated response to elderly
crime victims by combining the efforts and resources of law enforcement, victim
assistance providers, and senior citizens and their agent organizations. The Citizen
Potawatomi Nation in Oklahoma has been particularly successful in coordinating
with a variety of agencies off- and on-reservation, assisting other Indian Country
programs in providing training and serving as a TRIAD model to them. The Tribe
provides solid in-kind support to allow the program to strengthen its partnerships
with surrounding communities. OVC funded an additional program with the Blackfeet
Tribe in FY 1999 and plans to expand the TRIAD model to other Tribes through
production of a video and TRIAD manual appropriate for use in Indian Country.
OVC's ability to fund demonstration programs and identify promising practices is an
important part of its mission. A limited amount of funding, a large client roster, and
frequent turnover in staff provide little opportunity for community-based victim service
programs to focus on program development issues such as identifying new and improved
ways for meeting the needs of crime victims. When program leadership is able to devote
the resources and time to program enhancement efforts, they do not want to waste time
reinventing the wheel. The victim service field looks to OVC to fund the development of
new, comprehensive models for serving crime victims, to widely disseminate information on
model programs and best practices, and to provide seed money, technical assistance, and
moral support to those programs that venture on to higher levels of victim services.
OVC has devoted its resources to projects that address traditional systems and emerging
program areas. Successes recognized in this biennium in some cases
are the result of a substantial commitment of funding, staff efforts, and a growing
appreciation of the role of crime victims in our justice system. OVC will continue
to identify promising practices, make the transfer of research to practice a top
priority, and fund demonstration programs and create technical assistance resources
to respond to the needs and the demands of the field. The above models are only a brief
glimpse of OVC's work in this area. Chapter 8 describes in great detail the efforts
of state and community-based programs that are the beneficiaries of the promising
practices, demonstration projects, and training and technical assistance efforts OVC
supports with its discretionary funding.