Message from the Director
Since its establishment by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA), the Crime Victims Fund has served as a major funding source for victim services throughout the United States. VOCA victim assistance grants are awarded each year to all U.S. states and territories, which in turn competitively award funds to local community-based organizations and public agencies that provide services directly to victims of crime. VOCA compensation grants are awarded annually to states and territories to provide direct reimbursement to, or on behalf of, crime victims for crime-related expenses. Compensation and assistance grants touch victims throughout our Nation and play a critical role in supporting victims immediately following a crime and as they rebuild their lives.
VOCA funding supports many innovative programs and protocols that reach and serve victims more effectively. This e-bulletin discusses such cutting edge programs in states and localities around the country. To identify these practices, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Fellows traveled to 49 states to visit VOCA assistance and compensation programs representing a broad mix of geographic locations, sizes, population demographics, and service delivery models. We would like to thank the many administrators and program staff who contributed the valuable input and data discussed in this Report from the Field and their ongoing commitment to providing victims with the support they need. We would like to emphasize that this e-bulletin provides a snapshot of the innovative practices happening in 25 states. Our intention is to update this Report from the Field periodically to reflect innovative victim service programs that are developing throughout the entire Nation.
The programs described in this e-bulletin focus on six key areas: needs assessment, systems advocacy and coordination, compensation, underserved populations, victims’ rights and services, and technology. We hope that an examination of the areas relevant to your own programs proves beneficial, and that you consider replicating the most applicable practices in your state or locality. By continuing to improve state and local victim assistance programs through innovative methods, we can meet the emerging challenges to best support victims along their path to healing.