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Twenty Years Later: National Study of Victim Compensation Program Trends, Challenges, and Successes.

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $748,827)

Statement of the Problem: In 2003, the Urban Institute published the "National Evaluation of State Victims of Crime Act Assistance and Compensation Programs: Trends and Strategies for the Future", a seminal report on state victim compensation and assistance programs. After almost twenty years, updated research on State victim compensation programs is desperately needed to provide guidance to both practitioners and policymakers. Thus, the goal of the current study is to examine the effectiveness, utilization, and comprehensiveness of State crime victim compensation programs in meeting victim’s needs, including the strengths, and barriers and challenges of policies and funding models, and best practices for the field. The study will document the variation in models and their effectiveness, the barriers victims face to accessing compensation, and the challenges states face when administering funds. Partnerships: NORC at the University of Chicago will partner with the Urban Institute, the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards, and the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators. Subjects: This study will include State victim compensation administrators, victim compensation stakeholders and victim compensation claimants. Research Design and Methods: This study employs a multi-method design which includes: 1) a administering a national survey to victim compensation program administrators to collect data about victim compensation programs, including operations, funding and financial planning, outreach and engagement with victims, claims processing and determination decision-making, characteristics of claimants, and other relevant questions, and 2) a deep-dive analysis in 3-5 diverse states to conduct semi-structured interviews with victim compensation program stakeholders, collect case-level victim compensation program data, and administer a survey to individuals who have filed for victim compensation in each state to learn about their experiences and perspective. Analysis: Analysis of the data collection activities will provide state-level, longitudinal information on victim compensation programs, decision-making criteria, policy and financial considerations for programs, and claimant characteristics, experiences, and perspectives. Products, Reports, and Data Archiving: Findings of this study will be disseminated via individualized reports to each deep-dive state, two practitioner-friendly briefs, one peer-reviewed journal article, presentations, and a final technical report. All data will be archived with NACJD. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 29, 2021