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What Constitutes Success? Evaluating Legal Services for Victims of Crime, Final Site Report: Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center

NCJ Number
Kristina Lugo-Graulich; Karen Souza; Susan S. Howley; Susannah N. Tapp; Meg Garvin
Date Published
September 2021
38 pages

This National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-funded project is a researcher-practitioner collaboration between the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA), the National Crime Victims’ Law Institute (NCVLI), national experts, and three local programs. Including the Maryland Victims Resource Center (MCVRC).


The purpose of this project for the field is to establish a foundation for future rigorous evaluation that can inform and support excellence in victims’ rights enforcement work and other legal services for victims. The first component was the development of a conceptual model for victim legal services. A preliminary version of the model was adapted to fit OCVLC’s services. After the pilot test, refinements were made, and a finalized OCVLC-specific version of the model was created. The rest of this project comprised a formative evaluation, which is a rigorous assessment to determine OCVLC’s readiness for formal evaluation. This was carried out by collecting key program documentation, interviewing stakeholders, collaborating to design a pilot data collection, and executing a six-month pilot test of it. The goal was to determine which data will be most useful for OCVLC’s purposes on an ongoing basis and to inform the two phases of formal evaluation. These phases consist of a process valuation, during which the evaluation team will collect more detailed data on how services are delivered, while working with OCVLC to complete ongoing improvements to the client satisfaction survey and implementation (services) data collection launched during the pilot test. These activities will prepare OCVLC for Phase III, the outcome evaluation.