U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Victim Services Best Practices: The Aftermath of a Mass Violence Incident

NCJ Number
Kathryn H. Floyd; John Montes; Jamie Pianka; J. Scott Quirarte
Date Published
July 2018
21 pages
This article presents best practices in preparing for and responding to victims of mass violence or an active-shooter incident.
The best practices discussed are promoted in the Mass Violence Toolkit (MVT) and have been adopted by the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA's) forthcoming "Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response." The topics addressed in these best practices are victim protocols, the victim assistance timeline, victim reunification and notification, communications, family assistance and community resiliency centers, volunteer and donation management, and criminal justice system support. The scope of mass-violence events encompassed by these best practices for victims include "one or more individuals actively engaged in harming, killing, or attempting to kill people in a populated area." This scope of events is derived from the "Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012." As stated by the Crime Victims Rights Act (2004), a victim is someone directly or proximately harmed in the incident/crime as the result of a criminal offense. Once the NFPA standard (NFPA 3000) is issued, it will provide guidance for organizing, managing, and sustaining an active preparedness and response program, so that the risk, effect, and impact of hostile events can be reduced. Initially, this will be a voluntary consensus standard or best practices for those organizations and jurisdictions that choose to adopt the recommendations. This article encourages local, state, and national entities to implement NFPA 3000 and to use the MVT in planning for the worst of mass-violence events. 28 references