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Automated Victim Notification: Awareness and Use Among Service Providers and Victims

NCJ Number
243840
Date Published
Author(s)
Seri Irazola, Emily Niedzwiecki, Sara Debus-Sherrill, Erin Williamson
Annotation
This issue brief reports on an evaluation that surveyed service providers and crime victims about their awareness and use of their jurisdictions’ automated victim notification (AVN) systems, which are intended to provide crime victims timely and accurate information on court events and status changes in the course of their case processing.
Abstract
Generally, survey results show that the concept of AVN is important to service providers and crime victims and is viewed as a valuable service. Both service providers and crime victims expressed strong satisfaction with the AVN and perceived its benefits. The majority of victims reported they would recommend AVN to others. Most service providers (74 percent) reported using AVN systems for registering and/or referring crime victims. In contrast, only 23 percent of victim respondents were registered to receive AVN services. Of the registered victims, 59 percent first heard about AVN through a service provider, and 42 percent reported registering through a provider. Findings suggest that AVN system characteristics are important for service providers in determining their satisfaction with and use of the AVN. This was not the case with victims, however. This finding should be further explored, since it may indicate that victims lack awareness of the services that they are or are not receiving. Survey responses were received from 1,246 service providers in all 50 States and the District of Columbia. They represented diverse types of organizations, geographic service areas, types of victim services provided, and victim populations served. A total of 1,355 responses were received from crime victims. Respondents were from 35 States and the District of Columbia; 89 percent were female; 72 percent reported seeking services for non-violent offenses, and 28 percent reported seeking services for a violent crime (i.e., murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault).
Date Created: October 29, 2013