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Opening the Door to Healing: Reaching and Serving Crime Victims Who Have a History of Incarceration

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2020
62 pages
This report discusses seven facts that must be addressed when serving crime victims who have a history of incarceration.
First, many people in the United States have been incarcerated; and second, adults who have been involved in the justice system have been victimized at high rates before, during, and after incarceration. Third, the stigma of being formerly incarcerated is a significant barrier to experiencing healing from victimization. Fourth, reentry into the community after incarceration poses significant challenges to being healed from trauma. Fifth, services and compensation are difficult to access by crime victims with a history of incarceration. Sixth, victim services and reentry programs are not coordinating their delivery of resources for formerly incarcerated victims. Seventh ways must be found to deliver victim services to those with a history of incarceration so they can heal. The U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime's (OVC's) National Resource Center for Reaching Victims is working on an array of initiatives to remove barriers to victim services for formerly incarcerated victims, as well as to challenge the perception that those who have committed crimes have not experienced the trauma of criminal victimization. The goal is to ensure that all crime victims, regardless of their own offending, can have access to healing resources for their victimization.