Evaluating and Responding to the Needs of Crime Victims

Session Number: 1706
Track: Crime and Justice
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Crime & Justice
Session Chair: Susan Dietzel [Research Scientist - SUNY Albany Center for Human Services Research]
Presenter 1: Jaclyn Smith
Presenter 2: Nicole Bracy [Harder+Company Community Research]
Presenter 3: Susan Dietzel [Research Scientist - SUNY Albany Center for Human Services Research]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Diane Trunk [Director of Evaluation - Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice]
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Remla Parthasarathy, Esq. [Project Leader, Crime Victims Legal Network - Empire Justice Center]
Time: Nov 02, 2018 (02:15 PM - 03:15 PM)
Room: CC - 7

Abstract 1 Title: Leveraging a Researcher-Practitioner Partnership for the Benefit of Crime Victims: Evaluation Findings and Lessons Learned from the Victim Legal Network for the District of Columbia
Presentation Abstract 1:

The Victim Legal Network for DC (VLNDC) was established to expand the capacity of District service providers to provide legal education and services on the array of civil, criminal, and administrative legal needs for victims of crime. During the design and implementation of their Network, VLNDC partnered with a local research partner to ensure their efforts were responsive to the needs of the DC legal community and victims of crime. This presentation will discuss (1) the methods, findings, and recommendations of a needs assessment; (2) how the findings and recommendations informed the development and implementation of VLNDC; and (3) current evaluation findings. This presentation will also highlight the research-practitioner partnership, including the benefits of leveraging evaluation and data metrics and the knowledge and skills of practitioners to improve legal service provision to victims of crime.

Abstract 2 Title: Addressing the Needs of Survivors of Crime in Los Angeles, While Balancing a Funder-driven, Multi-level Evaluation
Presentation Abstract 2:

The Los Angeles Legal Collaborative for Survivors (LCS) is a network of legal and social service providers who, with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime, work together to provide wraparound services for survivors of crime in Los Angeles. Prior to designing their service model, the LCS conducted a needs assessment with survivors of crime regarding their specific legal and social service needs and barriers to seeking services. This presentation by an LCS service provider and the network’s research partner will discuss: (1) lessons learned from the design and implementation of the needs assessment; (2) challenges the LCS faced in applying the findings to shape a service model that met the funder’s requirements and the needs of the target population, and (3) challenges faced by the research partner in working to build evaluation capacity within the LCS partners while balancing the demands of a local and national evaluation.

Abstract 3 Title: NY Individual Project Title: Assessing and Addressing the Needs of Crime Victims in New York State
Presentation Abstract 3:

This presentation will discuss the methods, findings, and recommendations of a needs assessment designed to understand the civil legal needs of crime victims in New York State and the barriers to meeting those needs. The study was designed to give voice to crime victims and service providers in order to best address existing gaps in services. Data collection methods and targeted outreach efforts will be discussed, with particular attention to the challenges of reaching vulnerable populations. A research scientist and a non-profit legal services provider will discuss how the information from the needs assessment was used to develop and implement an online resource for victims of crime. The presenters will highlight utility of the research-practitioner partnership in all phases of project development and implementation. The presentation will include a discussion of current findings on the utility of the resource as it is piloted and gradually rolled out statewide.

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Crime victims have a range of administrative, civil, and criminal legal needs. The Office for Victims of Crime’s initiative, Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services, revealed a need for comprehensive, wraparound, no-cost legal services that can be addressed with a coordinated, collaborative, holistic approach. This panel includes three examples of wraparound legal models developed based on feedback from crime victims and service providers to ensure victims receive needed legal services. The Victim Legal Network for the District of Columbia will share information about their research-practitioner partnership and current evaluation findings. The Los Angeles Legal Collaborative for Survivors will discuss challenges in implementing a model that met funding requirements and evaluation demands while addressing the needs of marginalized victims. The New York Crime Victims Legal Help Network will discuss challenges of obtaining feedback from under-served populations, the use of research findings in informing the implementation of the Network, and current evaluation findings.