"The Impact of Victim Services," in Kaiser, Kury and Albrecht (eds.), Victims and
Criminal Justice. Freiburg: Max-Planck-Institut, 1991, 97-114.
Despite the growing availability of victim services, we know surprisingly little about their
effectiveness. Although there have been many descriptions of victim support programs, there
are few systematic evaluations of the extent to which they meet client needs. This chapter
describes a study of victims' needs that addresses this question. It is based on data collected
from interviews with 470 victims of robbery, assault, and burglary in four American cities:
Lexington (Kentucky), Evanston (Illinois), Tucson (Arizona), and Rochester (New York). In each
city we had the cooperation of the principal local victim assistance program; they opened their
files and allowed us to draw samples of their clients. In cities where the victim service agency
did not have the names of all crime victims on file, we also selected samples from police files.
In each city, we were able to sample victims who had been served by the programs and others
who had no significant contact with them.
"Services for Victims: A Market Research Study," International Review of
Victimology, 1999, 6/2, 101-115.
Victim services programs have proliferated over the past three decades. However, we know
little about the forms of assistance that crime victims seek from these programs, whether the
programs are meeting the needs of those who seek help, or whether the victims who receive
services are the ones most in need. The current research examined these issues through
interviews with 240 crime victims (120 persons who had received help from victim programs
and 120 who had not) across four cities in the United States. Family and friends were the most
frequent sources of victim assistance. Victim services programs helped a substantial number
of victims with counseling related needs but were of little help to victims in dealing with crime
prevention, household, or property replacement needs. Victims who received services had
more crime-related needs than those who had no program contact.