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Providing Sensitive Death Notifications

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2018
2 pages
Intended for use by law enforcement officers, medical examiners, victim assistance professionals, and other professionals involved in death cases, the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center provides an outline of and access to an online training course in making sensitive death notifications to families of decedent crime victims.
The instruction presents a four-step preparation for a sensitive death notification that involves planning, preparation, delivery, and follow-up. A section on special circumstances and key considerations addresses the distinctive planning for 1) multiple death notifications in mass casualty incidents; 2) when recipients of the notification have already heard of the death through social media; 3) when the decedent is a child; 4) when the decedent is a criminal suspect; 5) when cultural and religious traditions must be considered when making a death notification; and 6) the demonstration of death notifications by using best practices.