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Victim Services in Rural Law Enforcement
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        NCJ 232748

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About the Grant

In 2002, OVC provided funding to the National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) and the Alabama Attorney General's Office to develop a 4-year grant project titled Victim Services in Rural Law Enforcement. NSA worked with a consultant, Justice Solutions, to ensure the victim advocate perspective was fully integrated into its project. Each grantee competitively selected 10 rural pilot sites to participate in its projects. The Alabama grant concluded with seven participating sites. The following sites were selected:

NSA Subgrantees

  • Arizona: Pinal County Sheriff's Office (Pinal County)
  • California: Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office (Siskiyou County)
  • Georgia: Monroe County Sheriff's Office (Monroe County)
  • Maine: Aroostook and Washington County Sheriff's Offices and the Maine State Police (Aroostook and Washington Counties)
  • Minnesota: Mahnomen County Sheriff's Office (Mahnomen County)
  • Nebraska: Valley Police Department (Valley)
  • New Mexico: Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office (Dona Ana County)
  • North Carolina: Cherokee County Sheriff's Office (Cherokee County)
  • Ohio: Ross County Sheriff's Office (Ross County)
  • Washington: Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal Police Department (Port Gamble S'Klallam)

Alabama Subgrantees

  • Calera Police Department (Calera)
  • Hartford Police Department (Hartford)
  • Luverne Police Department (Luverne)
  • Mobile County Sheriff's Office (Mobile County)
  • Montgomery County Sheriff's Office (Montgomery County)
  • Pell City Police Department (Pell City)
  • Washington County Sheriff's Office (Washington County)

Subgrantees focused on developing a helpful and sensitive initial law enforcement response to crime victims and followup assistance designed to promote victim recovery and participation in the criminal justice process.8 Multiyear funding allowed sites to develop their victim service initiatives in three phases. The first phase was dedicated to assessing community needs related to serving victims, planning, building collaborative relationships in the community as needed to meet victims' needs, identifying key grant activities, and creating a plan for implementation. During the second phase, sites implemented grant activities and planned how to evaluate project effectiveness. Sites varied in their actual activities during each phase and the time it took to complete each phase. Sites continued delivery of services during the third phase, evaluated the effectiveness of services, and worked to sustain their efforts beyond the grant period.9

Most rural law enforcement agencies will not have the level of structured support that the 17 subgrantees had when creating their own victim service initiatives. However, instead of starting from scratch, agencies should use the lessons learned by project grantees and subgrantees in this publication as a guide to developing programs that address the needs of victims in their localities.

In addition to monitoring the programmatic and financial activities of sites, NSA and the Alabama Attorney General's Office conducted periodic site visits to offer technical assistance as needed, including assessing community needs, planning for implementation, coordinating training, and evaluating project outcomes. During each project phase, grantees also convened cluster meetings to offer guidance, training, and an opportunity for information sharing among their subgrantees. At the end of the project, both grantees and subgrantees documented and analyzed their grant activities for OVC.