Suggested Events To Promote New Directions
A New Directions State
The formation of a New Directions State or Community Task Force can be a highly effective and efficient tool to review the current status of a state or community in its provision of victims' rights and services. The information provided about task force development is offered as one vehicle to help bring key stakeholders together to begin to review current program services and victims' rights, and to compare them with the recommendations found within New Directions. In addition, these resources may be appropriate for implementation by individual agency- and discipline-specific organizations or professional groups.
New Directions Task Force Goals
The following sample goals for a New Directions Task Force provide a framework to begin addressing New Directions' five global challenges for responding to victims of crime well into the next century:
Task Force Membership
A New Directions Task Force should include a variety of participants who can bring insight, expertise, and change into their respective agencies, disciplines, or communities. When inviting persons to serve on the Task Force, consideration should be given to including a representative mix of the same professional discipline from local, county, State, and Federal levels. Representatives from Tribal and military communities should be involved where appropriate. In addition, consideration should be given to diversity by gender, culture, and geography. Suggestions for task force members include:
One of the most effective methods to organize a New Directions Task Force is to create issue-specific subcommittees to review particular topics and to present their findings and recommendations to the larger Task Force for consideration or adoption. Subcommittee formation allows Task Force members to select issues related to their area of expertise so that substantial contributions can be made in a short period of time. Proposed New Directions Task Force subcommittees may include:
Public Awareness and Education Committee: Devises strategies to increase the public's awareness of issues facing crime victims, their rights to services and information, and how to publicize existing programs and services that assist and support victims.
Legislative Committee: Tracks State and Federal statutes pertaining to crime victims to alert interested parties of changes that may affect mandated programs and services and reviews the need to introduce new legislation or to modify existing laws based upon New Directions recommendations. (For suggested legislative strategies, please refer to the Global Strategies for Implementation section of this Guide.)
Implementation Committee: Devises strategies to implement proposed New Directions Task Force goals and recommendations.
Victim Assistance Committee: Tracks emerging trends in the delivery of services to crime victims; reviews current victim assistance programs to identify gaps in service; and develops and implements service programs to meet new or emerging victim assistance needs. (For suggested victim service strategies, please refer to the Global Strategies for Implementation section of this Guide.)
Training Committee: Identifies and reviews current victim assistance training programs and curricula, and develops strategies to establish or enhance training and educational opportunities.
Compliance Committee: Reviews mechanisms established to ensure compliance with State, Tribal, and Federal victims' rights laws, and where less than adequate, develops strategies to help increase compliance.
In addition to creating plans of actions, a New Directions Task Force can release final findings and recommendations to members of the criminal and juvenile justice community, public policymakers, and the community to help increase awareness about the devastating financial and emotional impact of crime on victims. New Directions Task Force members can release their findings in the form of an Executive Summary or a news media press release. Below is a list of suggested community or State representatives that should be provided with information about the final findings of the New Directions Task Force: