Many Project Safe Neighborhoods sites identify victim and witness intimidation as a problem in their jurisdictions.
Intimidation tactics discourage continued engagement with the criminal justice system and negatively impact crime victims, their families, community relationships, and crime investigations and prosecutions. Intimidation can instill fear and lead victims to experience psychological distress.
For many, the threats of violence or retaliation necessitate emergency and sometimes long-term relocation to ensure safety of the victim and their family. Relocation services vary by jurisdiction, require significant resources, and require a whole-of-community approach, particularly in regions with tight housing markets. Relocation programs may rely on a mixture of hotels, short-term housing, public housing, and other rentals to provide the best options for each victim. Victim service advocates frequently provide expansive case management services to victims in relocation programs to maintain communication, manage safety risks, and connect the victims to supportive services.
The following topics will be discussed during this webinar:
- General information on victim and witness relocation
- What districts should consider when expanding relocation services
- Innovative ways jurisdictions are addressing the needs of victims:
- Detroit Ceasefire: A Detroit-based program that partners with faith leaders to provide emergency relocation to victims and witnesses
- Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office: State and local funding supports this Philadelphia program that provides relocation assistance to victims
- Various relocation services, the role of partner agencies in the community, and funding sources
- Significant challenges, how they were overcome, and lessons learned