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Good Samaritans Volunteers Helping Victims Program Handbook and Training Guide
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About This Guide Message From the Director Acknowledgments About the Authors Related Links
Photo: Man and woman looking out of a broken window.

Publication Date: April 2009

minus iconFilling a Void—Origins of the Program
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minus iconVolunteers: Recruiting,
Screening, and Training

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minus iconModule 2: The Victim Experience
minus iconModule 3: Basic Skills for Volunteers
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About This Guide

The Good Samaritans: Volunteers Helping Victims—Program Handbook and Training Guide is designed for prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, community groups, and faith-based organizations who are interested in expanding their services to crime victims.

The first section traces the history of the original Good Samaritans program in Mobile, Alabama, and discusses replication efforts in other communities. It covers basic information about how the program is structured, the need for community collaboration, and how volunteers are recruited and trained.

The second section is a training guide for volunteers new to crime victim assistance and is designed to help nonprofessional trainers plan and execute an effective training session. Individual modules include lessons on—

  • Crime in America.
  • The effective Good Samaritan.
  • The victim experience.
  • Basic communication skills.
  • Providing services.
  • Self-care.

Each module contains useful suggestions for presenting the information to volunteers.

The guide also provides a list of resources to help volunteers and community partners learn more about crime victim assistance, volunteering, collaboration building, and other issues important to establishing a Good Samaritans program in their communities.

The parable of the Good Samaritan offers a simple lesson about an individual who, rather than turn away, stopped to tend to a fellow human being who was victimized by crime. Establishing and managing an organized cadre of modern-day Good Samaritans, however, is a bit more complex.

This guide provides instructions for starting a Good Samaritans program and for recruiting, screening, and training volunteers. As you read the guide, always consider your own community's crime problems, population diversity, and resources. Then customize the guidelines and training to fit the needs of crime victims and volunteers in your area.

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW.
Washington, DC 20531

Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General

Laurie O. Robinson
Acting Assistant Attorney General

Joye E. Frost
Acting Director, Office for Victims of Crime

Office of Justice Programs
Innovation • Partnerships • Safer Neighborhoods

Office for Victims of Crime

NCJ 225703

This product was supported by grant number 2003-VF-GX-1001, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Office for Victims of Crime is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.