As a nation, we can be proud of the thousands of victim assistance programs that have been established to assist the tens of millions of persons living in America who fall victim to criminal acts each year. Given the limited funding to hire staff to address the emotional, physical, and financial consequences of crime to all of its victims, it is understandable that the vast majority of program dollars have been dedicated primarily to assisting persons victimized by violent crime. However, each year, more than 24 million persons become victims of more than 38 million fraud crimes and attempted fraud crimes. Victims suffer very real emotional trauma and financial devastation as a result of these acts. Therefore, the criminal justice system, and the federal criminal justice system in particular, can no longer ignore fraud victims' need for support and informational services.
Currently, victim assistance professionals have at their disposal little information about the emotional and financial needs of fraud victims and few practical resources to help them develop comprehensive assistance programs and services for fraud victims. Recognizing the need for the development of these critical resources, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) have worked collaboratively to produce a comprehensive resource package to enhance services to fraud victims in the federal criminal justice system.
The resource kit, titled Providing Services to Victims of Fraud: Resources for Victim/Witness Coordinators, consists of a brochure, handbook, video, and guidebook. We are confident that the kit will give federal personnel who work with victims of fraud the resources they need to build effective, sensitive, and fraud-specific victim assistance programs and services.
|Kathryn M. Turman|
Office for Victims of Crime
Police Executive Research Forum
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