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Exploration of Challenges in Law Enforcement-Based Victim Services: Focus Groups with Victim Service Directors

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2022
8 pages

This research review examines the results and implications of the Law Enforcement-Based Victim Services (LEV) Program survey and interviews, which were conducted in order to better understand the current state of law enforcement-based victim services programs. The authors report that after analyzing the survey and interview results, several topics were identified which would be appropriate for future training and technical assistance, and could benefit from preliminary exploration through focus groups. These topics included: victim services unit workload, staffing, and ethics. Focus group participants included victim services directors (VSDs) from agencies who received LEV or other VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) funding. The authors note the responses of the VSDs participating in the focus groups regarding the selected topics for exploration: workload issues included pressure to meet victims’ needs in a timely manner and trouble with task prioritization; staffing issues included lack of sufficient staff, staff retention, and staff addition, and how volunteer or intern programs might reduce staffing pressure but could also be intimidating as far as program maintenance is concerned; and ethical issues were described as a regular challenge, VSDs expressed support for existing guides and opportunities for continuing education, training, and a newsletter to address ethical questions.

Date Published: August 1, 2022