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Good Samaritans Volunteers Helping Victims Program Handbook and Training Guide
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About This Guide Message From the Director Acknowledgments About the Authors Related Links
Photo: Man and woman looking out of a broken window.

Publication Date: April 2009

minus iconFilling a Void—Origins of the Program
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minus iconVolunteers: Recruiting,
Screening, and Training

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minus iconModule 2: The Victim Experience
minus iconModule 3: Basic Skills for Volunteers
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This is the first time anyone has offered to
help me with my burglary problem.

I am grateful that someone cared enough to call.

—A victim whose home had been broken into nearly 50 times in the past decade

So spoke an older victim after Good Samaritans volunteers visited him to assess his security options, contacted Alabama Power and the City of Mobile on his behalf, and saw that the necessary lighting was installed.

Before the Good Samaritans program began in Mobile County, Alabama, many vulnerable crime victims had no one to turn to. Since 2003, however, these victims have been able to call on Good Samaritans volunteers to help them feel more secure in their homes after a crime and to refer them to the services they need.

A community initiative led by the Mobile County District Attorney's Office and supported by the Office for Victims of Crime, Good Samaritans has been replicated in several communities in Mobile County, Alabama, and Jackson County, Mississippi. The program unites law enforcement and faith-based and community organizations to train and mobilize volunteers who can help crime's most vulnerable victims.

"This is an important service to the community because serious crime continues to plague Mobile County," said District Attorney John Tyson, Jr. "According to state and federal crime statistics, our countywide crime rate is substantially higher than the rest of the Nation. There are far too many crime victims, and not nearly enough law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and victim service professionals to help them all."

NCJ 225703