University at Albany

Victim Legal Assistance Network Development

This project is a collaborative effort between the New York State Office of Victim Services(OVS), the Empire Justice Center (EJC), Pro Bono Net (PBN) and CHSR researchers. It is funded by a federal grant from the Office for Victims of Crime.

Evaluation & Research

As part of the needs assessment, CHSR analyzed data on crime and victim services; conducted a review of existing programs and services across New York State; surveyed victims and service providers; and conducted focus groups and interviews with crime victims, service providers, and civil legal attorneys. Based on the findings from the assessment, CHSR is working with the OVS, EJC, PBN, and the advisory committee to develop and implement a triage approach to meeting the civil legal needs of crime victims, using web-based technology to connect victims and service providers from across the state. This “triaging toolkit” will include an online module that crime victims can complete to identify what if any civil legal needs they have, web-based support programs for legal issues that can be addressed without legal counsel, web-based programs that assist the victim in completing initial paperwork, and assistance in connecting with legal counsel (legal services, private bar, or a law school). The triaging toolkit will ensure that crime victims are connected to needed services.

Contact: Dr. Susan Ehrhard-Dietzel