The Justice Department today unveiled a plan calling for sweeping changes to advance crime victims’ rights and services in the 21st century.
Developed by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report, is the first collective examination in 15 years of current U.S. practices, funding and outreach in the crime victims’ field.
“Today’s announcement marks the latest step forward in the Department’s ongoing work to protect and empower those who have been victimized,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Through Vision 21, we’ve gained an unprecedented understanding of the current state of victim services from coast to coast. And we've developed groundbreaking strategies for responding to urgent needs, combating violence and abuse, and providing critical support to crime victims.”
Vision 21 documents the need to better understand who is affected by crime, how they are affected, how they seek help, who reports victimization and the reasons why some victims do not. The report calls for continuous, rather than episodic, strategic planning in the victim assistance field and for statutory, policy and programmatic flexibility to address enduring and emerging crime victim issues. It also calls for the development of evidence-based knowledge founded on data collection and analysis of victimization and emerging victimization trends, services, behaviors and enforcement efforts.
“This is a bold and creative plan to meet the needs of crime victims in the 21st century,” said Assistant Attorney General for OJP Karol V. Mason. “The recommendations in this report display the latest and best thinking in the field of victim services and set us on a course to ensuring services for all victims. I am grateful to my Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary and OVC’s Principal Deputy Director Joye Frost for leading Vision 21 and for their commitment to victims across the country.”
Leary and Frost previously joined Patrick Leahy, President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate, on April 24, to announce the framework for this report. For the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report, please visit: www.ovc.gov/vision21.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. For more information about OJP, please visit: www.ojp.gov.