National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

National Victim Assistance Agency Survey, 1992 (ICPSR 6436) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This data collection examines victim assistance programs that are operated by law enforcement agencies, prosecutor's offices, and independent assistance agencies. Victim assistance programs came into being when it was discovered that, in addition to the physical, emotional, and financial impact of a crime, victims often experience a "second victimization" because of insensitive treatment by the criminal justice system. Specifically, this study sought to answer the following questions: (1) What are the current staffing levels of victim assistance programs? (2) What types of victims come to the attention of the programs? (3) What types of services are provided to victims? and (4) What are the operational and training needs of victim assistance programs? The survey was sent to 519 police departments, sheriff departments, and prosecutor's offices identified as having victim assistance programs. Also, 172 independent full-service agencies that were believed to provide referral or direct services to victims (not just advocacy) were also sent surveys. Variables on staffing levels include the number of full-time, part-time, and volunteer personnel, and the education and years of experience of paid staff. Victim information includes the number of victims served for various types of crime, and the percent of victims served identified by race/ethnicity and by age characteristics (under 16 years old, 17-64 years old, and over 65 years old). Variables about services include percent estimates on the number of victims receiving various types of assistance, such as information on their rights, information on criminal justice processes, "next-day" crisis counseling, short-term supportive counseling, or transportation. Other data gathered include the number of victims for which the agency arranged emergency loans, accompanied to line-ups, police or prosecutor interviews, or court, assisted in applying for state victim compensation, prepared victim impact statements, notified of court dates or parole hearings, or made referrals to social service agencies or mental health agencies. Information is also presented on training provided to criminal justice, medical, mental health, or other victim assistance agency personnel, and whether the agency conducted community or public school education programs. Agencies ranked their need for more timely victim notification of various criminal justice events, improvement or implementation of various forms of victim and public protection, and improvement of victim participation in various stages of the criminal justice process. Agencies also provided information on training objectives for their agency, number of hours of mandatory pre-service and in-service training, types of information provided during the training of their staff, sources for their training, and the priority of additional types of training for their staff. Agency variables include type of agency, year started, and budget information.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

DS1:  Data File - Download All Files (0.4 MB)
Documentation:
Data:
ASCII
ASCII + SPSS Setup
DS2:  SAS Data Definition Statements - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup

Study Description

Citation

McEwen, J. Thomas. NATIONAL VICTIM ASSISTANCE AGENCY SURVEY, 1992. ICPSR version. Conducted by Institute for Law and Justice. Cambridge, MA: Abt Associates, Inc. [producer], 1994. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1995. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06436.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (OJP-89-C-009)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   counseling, criminal justice system, law enforcement agencies, victim compensation, victim rights, victims services, victims

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1992

Date of Collection:  

  • 1993

Unit of Observation:   Agencies.

Universe:   All agencies with victim assistance programs in the United States.

Data Types:   survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The Victim Assistance Program Survey was part of a larger National Institute of Justice (NIJ) effort called the National Assessment Program (NAP). The NAP surveys a representative sample of more than 3,000 criminal justice agencies every three years to determine their problems and needs at the local level. Results of the survey inform NIJ's research and technical assistance programs. As violent crimes continue to increase in the United States, more victims are seeking aid from victim assistance programs. Over the last ten years, the types of victims served and the services provided by victim assistance programs have grown. Victim assistance programs serve a variety of victim types: surviving families of homicide victims and traffic accident fatality victims, as well as victims of assault, domestic violence, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, auto theft, child abuse, and other crimes. Programs provide counseling to victims of personal and property crimes, helping them locate needed services, educating them about criminal justice proceedings, and encouraging their participation in the criminal justice process without their becoming confused and frustrated. Agencies keep victims notified about the progress of their case, including information on the status of police investigations, bail decisions, court dates (including schedule changes), charging and plea bargaining decisions, sentencing outcomes, and parole proceedings (hearings, decisions, and release dates). Specifically, this study sought to answer the following questions: (1) What are the current staffing levels of victim assistance programs? (2) What types of victims come to the attention of the programs? (3) What types of services are provided to victims? and (4) What are the operational and training needs of victim assistance programs?

Study Design:   A survey was sent to 519 police departments, sheriff departments, and prosecutor's offices identified as having victim assistance programs. Also, 172 independent full-service agencies that were believed to provide referral or direct services to victims (not just advocacy) were also sent surveys.

Sample:   Agencies receiving surveys were identified by the 1990 National Assessment Program (NAP) survey and through the National Organization of Victim Assistance (NOVA).

Data Source:

self-enumerated questionnaires

Description of Variables:   Variables on staffing levels include the number of full-time, part-time, and volunteer personnel, and the education and years of experience of paid staff. Victim information includes the number of victims served for various types of crime, and the percent of victims served identified by race/ethnicity and by age characteristics (under 16 years old, 17-64 years old, and over 65 years old). Variables about services include percent estimates on the number of victims receiving various types of assistance, such as information on their rights, information on criminal justice processes, "next-day" crisis counseling, short-term supportive counseling, or transportation, and the number of victims for which the agency arranged emergency loans, accompanied to line-ups, police or prosecutor interviews, or court, assisted in applying for state victim compensation, prepared victim impact statements, notified of court dates or parole hearings, or made referrals to social service agencies or mental health agencies. Information is also included on training provided to criminal justice, medical, mental health, or other victim assistance agency personnel, and whether the program conducted community or public school education programs. Agencies ranked their need for more timely victim notification of various criminal justice events, improvement or implementation of various forms of victim and public protection, and improvement of victim participation in various stages of the criminal justice process. Agencies also provided information on training objectives for their agency, number of hours of mandatory pre-service and in-service training, types of information provided during the training of their staff, sources for their training, and the priority of additional types of training for their staff. Agency variables include type of agency, year started, and budget information.

Response Rates:   A total of 370 surveys were returned, resulting in an overall response rate of 54 percent. Thirty-two surveys were dropped from analysis because they were incorrectly completed, and 19 surveys were dropped because the respondents indicated that they no longer had a victim assistance program. By type of agency, the response rates were 51 percent from police departments, 49 percent from prosecutor's offices, 46 percent from sheriff departments, and 24 percent from independent assistance agencies.

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Related Publications (see Notes)

Utilities

Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics

Found a problem? Use our Report Problem form to let us know.