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New York State Office of Victim Services'' Partnership Project for a Crime Victims'' Legal Network.

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $499,940)

The Vision 21 Victim Legal Assistance Networks program supports the development of networks that collaboratively provide free, comprehensive, holistic legal assistance to victims to address the range of legal needs that may arise in the wake of victimization. At a minimum, the sites will provide legal services that include civil legal assistance (including, but not limited to, family, custody and dependency, employment, and administrative issues related to the victimization); enforcement of victims' rights in criminal proceedings; assistance for victims of identity theft and financial fraud; and immigration assistance for human trafficking victims and battered immigrant women.

Funding for this first 18-month phase will support extensive planning that includes formation of a steering committee or governing body made up of network partners, conducting a comprehensive needs assessment, development of a detailed implementation plan that includes policies, procedures, and protocols for providing victims with necessary legal services and referrals within the network. Grantees will establish a partnership with a local, external researcher to work with the network to develop and conduct the needs assessment. Grantees also will work closely with the technical assistance provider awarded funding under this program.

With funding under this award, the State of New York Office of Victim Services will undertake planning for and development of a comprehensive victim legal assistance network covering all of the state except New York City.


Findings from OVC’s major, ongoing, strategic-planning initiative, Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services, strongly indicate there is a critical need for comprehensive, wraparound, no-cost legal services for victims of crime. In FY 2014, OVC released the Vision 21 Victim Legal Assistance Networks Program, a multi-year program supporting four agencies that administer Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) assistance funding in the states and the District of Columbia to implement comprehensive, wraparound, pro bono victim legal assistance networks at a statewide, regional, or local level.

With this supplemental award, the New York Office for Victim Assistance (NY OVA) will continue to partner with the Empire Justice Center, Pro Bono Net, and the Center for Human Services Research at the University of Albany to implement a pro bono, comprehensive, holistic legal network in New York State for victims who reside outside of the Manhattan area. During the initial phases of this project, NY OVA developed a needs assessment and began working on the development of an implementation plan. With continuation funding, NY OVA will: implement a Pilot Crime Victims’ Legal Assistance Network for selected points of entry and certain civil legal topics; Refine and expand the technology components for the Crime Victims’ Legal Assistance Network pilots; Disseminate policies, protocols, outcome measures, and public awareness approaches for the Pilot Crime Victims’ Legal Assistance Network to additional participants; and Evaluate the effectiveness of the expanded Crime Victims’ Legal Assistance Network.

Date Created: September 12, 2014