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Responding to September 11 Victims: Lessons Learned From the States

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2005
30 pages
This report presents lessons learned from State efforts in response to the needs of September 11 victims and recommended actions from select State Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) administrator agencies whose firsthand experiences in addressing victims’ needs may assist others in their strategic planning.
In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) awarded crisis response grants and subsequent appropriated funding to a number of State Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) administrator agencies to provide a broad range of services to victims of the attacks. This report reflects the experiences of those recipients or grantees of this funding and the lessons learned in attempting to meet the demand for victim assistance and compensation after September 11 and assist Federal, State, and private decisionmakers in organizing effective responses to potential future domestic mass criminal victimization. In describing the lessons learned, several challenges are presented for consideration in planning and implementing future response protocols. In addition, input from State VOCA administrator agencies revealed several potential recommended actions to improve the response to mass criminal victimization, such as emergency management from both a prevention and intervention perspective, balancing funding for aftermath services, providing available funding to support advance development of a disaster response structure, adopting standardized emergency management procedures, balance the needs of victims of mass criminal incidents with the needs of other victims, and conduct data collection and evaluation to inform decisionmakers and providers about the nature, duration, and effectiveness of victim services.

Date Published: April 1, 2005