U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime
May 1, 2014
This chapter provides an analysis of the potential value of wraparound legal networks to victims of crime in ensuring not just access to holistic legal services, but the enforcement of the victims' rights as well.
Chapter 2 of Vision 21 (pp.9-15) summarizes the efforts of federal legislation in the last decade to secure crime victims’ rights, in reaction to the criminal justice system’s negative reputation since the 1980’s.
Vision 21 is working to build a system which allows victims of crime the control to make fully informed decisions about their roles in the criminal justice process in order to encourage more willing participation. This empowerment is achieved by establishing a “wraparound” legal services network in order to serve the holistic needs of crime victims.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) aims to begin this process of providing all crime victims with a single point of entry to legal services by releasing competitive grant solicitations in order to support collaborative legal networks.
The Vision 21 report discusses the many benefits of this victim empowerment:
• reduced rates of PTSD and other mental health issues
• greater improvement in physical health
• greater improvement in quality of life
The report states that any system of effective legal services must contend with the fact that most victims never report the crimes. Only 42 percent of serious violent crimes and 40 percent of property crimes are reported to law enforcement. Those who do report to law enforcement face an extremely complicated legal system with seemingly countless obstacles.
Keywords: holistic legal aid, wraparound legal networks, victims’ rights, OVC
PUBLICATION DETAILSFormat: Research
Publication Type: Policy, Report
Geographic coverage, US: NATIONAL
Practice Area: Domestic Violence, Elderlaw, Family, Housing
Who Served: Children & Juvenile, Disabled, HIV/AIDS, Homeless, Immigrants, Inmates & Former Inmates, Language Minorities, Migrants, Minorities, Native Americans, Seniors, Veterans, Women
How Provided: Legal Aid Attorneys
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