Conducting a Basic Victim Needs Assessment: Issues to Consider

Really Basic Issues

  • Housing (both emergency/temporary and long-term, and possible re-location).
  • Transportation (personal automobile or access to and payment for public transportation)
  • Food for self and family.
  • Clothing.
  • Employment and/or job training.
  • Education (such as school attendance).
  • Assistance with basic issues relevant to their children (i.e., school, child care, medical, etc.)

Assistance and Services

  • Crisis intervention.
  • Crisis counseling.
  • Emergency financial assistance.
  • Services to enhance protection.
  • Home safety check with physical reinforcements (such as locks).
  • Safety planning.
  • Advocacy or intervention with employers.
  • Development or enhancement of social support system.
  • Physical health and medical issues.
  • Mental health counseling (for self and family).
  • Support group participation.
  • Legal advocacy.
  • Referrals for social services.
  • Assistance needed with immigration status.
  • Possibly alcohol or other drug counseling.
  • Information regarding what to do in cases of emergencies.
  • Translation or interpreter services.
  • Follow-up contact (as needed and/or upon request).

Implementation of Rights

  • Provision of information about victims' rights.
  • Information about and assistance with filing a victim compensation claim.
  • Information about protection rights.
  • Notification of the status and location of the offender.
  • Information about participation in key justice proceedings.
  • Accompaniment to court-related and other hearings involved in the case.
  • Information about and assistance with completing a pre-sentence investigation (PSI) interview and/or victim impact statement.
  • Information about and assistance with documenting restitution.
  • Notification of the outcome criminal or juvenile justice proceedings.
  • For cases involving incarceration or detention: Notification of the location of the offender and any movement (including release or escape)
  • For cases involving community supervision: Input into conditions of community supervision; the right to protection (including assistance with obtaining protective orders); the right to financial/legal obligations owed by the offender (such as child support, restitution, payment of house payments or rent, etc.); the right to be notified of any violations, be given input into any violation hearings; to be notified of the outcome of any violation hearings; and to be provided with contact information for the agency/ professional who will be supervising the offender.
Written by Anne Seymour, Senior Advisor to Justice Solutions (2002). Washington, D.C.: Justice Solutions

Voca Letter


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