Friday, August 10, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, Victims Research


NCJ 215201
Barbara Whitchurch; Andrea Beaderstadt
Building Victim Assistance Networks With Faith Communities: Lessons Learned by the Vermont Victim Services 2000 Project
US Dept of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime

This report summarizes the approaches used in Vermont in implementing the Victim Services 2000 (VS 2000) multiyear demonstration project in a rural area by developing and using relationships with the faith community to improve services to crime victims. Representatives from victim services agencies in Vermont participated in Vermont VS 2000 and began their work by conducting a needs assessment that revealed clergy were frequently working with crime victims but often lacked the tools and training required to provide effective victim assistance. Vermont VS 2000 addressed this issue by developing the VS 2000 Faith Community Initiative, which engaged the community in victim issues in a variety of ways, such as regional training for clergy on victim issues and services. Vermont VS 2000 developed Building Victim Assistance Networks With Faith Communities in order to provide technical assistance to victim services professionals interested in collaborating with the faith community. The current report describes the VS 2000 Faith Community Initiative, the lessons learned, and other promising practices. It also focuses on issues related to victim assistance and recommends actions that can be taken by other victim service organizations interested in partnering with the faith community. In discussing victim needs from a faith-based perspective, the paper notes that victimization often causes victims to question their faith, which in turn impacts their mental health and approaches they use to cope with their victimization. Trained clergy who work with crime victims can provide the guidance needed for understanding how faith-based attitudes and strategies for dealing with their victimization can lead to personal growth from the perspective of their faith. Specific issues addressed in this report are victims' experience of trauma and bereavement, and vicarious trauma. 59 references and resources

NCJ 218944
Sarah B. Hammond
Victims' Rights Laws in the States
US Dept of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime

In providing information on States' laws on crime victims' rights, this report addresses how these laws generally organize and administer victim services and outlines the provision of laws on victims' rights and services for each State, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. State legislatures have been responsible for enacting laws that have created policies that expand victims' rights and services. As a result of these legislative actions, crime victims now broadly have rights to receive notice of and participate in the criminal justice processing of their cases and to be compensated for losses they suffered as a result of their victimization. State legislatures have also put in place civil remedies and privacy measures for crime victims. Victims' rights laws are continuously being expanded and improved as legislators learn more from victims and from criminal justice officials. The first section of the report contains a short summary of State laws in each topic area described and analyzed. State-by-State comparative information on what is contained in State laws in each area is often provided. The issues addressed in this overview of victims' rights and services in the States are the definition of "victim," State victims' rights constitutional amendments and statutory bill of rights, victim notification, victim participation, victim protection and confidentiality, victim compensation, restitution, offender notoriety for profit, victims of crimes committed by juveniles, and witness rights and protections. In the second section of the report, each State's laws on victims' rights and services are outlined according to the topic areas reviewed in the report's first section. The report notes that over the past 30 years, there has been an important shift in criminal justice systems toward recognizing the needs and rights of crime victims. 12 tables and 5 resources for more information

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