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In essence, the program will help meet the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of crime victims in the remote areas in South Carolina.
Generally, the program is expected to have several impacts such as helping rural crime victims through increasing the services provided to them by Victim Service Programs. Secondly, the programs will help in increasing the number of rural crime victims who can access victim assistance programs. Third, the program will enhance the quality of victim services in the rural settings by developing effective strategies to meet the divergent and unique needs of rural crime victims.
As previously mentioned, Victim Service Enhancement Program for Rural Crime Victims is a project that is mainly geared towards improving the quality and accessibility of services for rural crime victims. Since the project seeks to lessen the ineffectiveness of current victim service programs while increasing their availability, it will collaborate with the Office of Victim Services. The need for collaboration with OVS is attributed to the major role this agency plays in providing services to crime victims. The Office of Victims Services is also an important in this process because of its role in empowering victims and ensuring they access necessary services to the fullest ("Victim and Witness Assistance," n.d.). One of the most important factors to achieve the program's objectives is proper administration and operation.
The administration and operation of Victim Service Enhancement Program for Rural Crime Victims will be based on the guidelines provided by Office of Victims Services and the requirements for funding from the State Board Fund. The program's administration and operation will involve the participation of relevant stakeholders across all stages of the criminal justice process. In essence, effective victim services will be provided through the involvement of major players in each stage of the process in order to ensure that victims are provided with the most appropriate services to the fullest extent possible.
Victim Service Enhancement Program for Rural Crime Victims will have an executive leadership with the responsibility of determining the achievement of instant, short-term, and long-term objectives. In addition, these executives will establish a timeframe for the accomplishment of these objectives and play supervisory role in ensuring that these objectives are achieved within the stipulated period of time. These leaders will also collaborate with other major stakeholders in the region's criminal justice department such as county clerks to develop strategies that enhance response to crime victims ("Victim Services in Rural Law Enforcement," 2009).
The program's leaders will work with the victim service providers to assess the existing limitations and challenges in accessibility of victim services. The results of these findings will be used to develop measures of addressing these limitations and how to obtain necessary resources to overcome these hindrances or obstacles. This will be followed by conducting providers' training and the law enforcement personnel on cultural competency that is relevant to the needs of the rural crime victims. Together with these providers and other stakeholders, the program's executive leadership will remain involved in constant evaluation of the need for additional changes that would promote the delivery of effective and improved victim service.
Program Goals and Objectives:
The significance of Victim Service Enhancement Program for Rural Crime Victims is directly linked to its ability to achieve its intended goals and objectives in order to have significant impacts on the delivery of these services. Some of the major of goals and objectives of this program include & #8230;
Increase the Population's Awareness of Victims Rights and Services:
One of the major problems that contribute to the seeming inability of Victim Service Programs in the remote South Carolina is the lack of knowledge regarding the rights and services of crime of victims. As a result, one of the main goals of this program is to enhance the population's awareness of the rights and services of crime victims in order to improve the accessibility of effective services. The objectives for the achievement of this goal include carrying out research regarding the legally provided rights and services for victims by the State. Secondly, the program will produce informational materials for crime victims regarding these rights and services. Third, the project will establish a helpdesk through which crime victims will obtain information that enhances their awareness of victims' rights and services.
Enhance the Cultural Competence of Victim Service Providers:
The second factor that contributes to ineffective victim services in the rural settings in South Carolina is the lack of culturally-relevant competence by law enforcement personnel and victim service providers. The lack of cultural competence in turn hinders the ability of these personnel and providers to develop effective strategies to provide effective victim services ("Voice of the Victim," 2009). Therefore, the other goal of this project is to enhance the cultural competence of these personnel and providers. This goal will be achieved through several objectives including training them on cultural competency in relation to the population's needs. Secondly, the program will contact local policymakers and allied professionals and enlist their support towards victim service delivery.
Expand and Enhance Legal and Advocacy Services:
The ability of providing effective victim services is partly dependent on the kind of available legal and advocacy services. As a result, the expansion and enhancement of legal and advocacy services in the remote areas in the State is one of the goals of this project. This will be realized through objectives such as increase representations in legal and advocacy services across the state. The second objective for this goal is to offer legal services together with holistic advocacy and case management through detailed intake process.
Increase Community's Response to Crime Victims:
The final goal of the project is to increase the rural communities' response to crime victims by tackling the major obstacles that hinders their response to victims. The ability of crime victims to obtain timely and effective services is directly linked to the communities' response to them. The objectives for this goal include expanding the availability of victim service centers across the state. The other objective is to develop and establish outreach venues to increase the awareness of isolated populations on how to respond to victims as well as victims' rights and services.
Methods of Reaching Objectives:
In order to achieve the described goals and objectives, Victim Service Enhancement Program for Rural Crime Victims will carry out several activities that are geared towards providing direct services to crime victims. The activities and services assist in supporting crime victims in several ways throughout their contact with the judicial process ("Victim Services Advocate Program Enhancement Grant Proposal," 2009). The first will be to establish a helpline and help center that offers direct services to crime victims in the remote areas in South Carolina. The help center and helpline will act as an outreach center for offering victim services to victims and their family members. As an outreach center, this project's help center will inform victims of their rights, refer them to community services, and provide them with necessary support and information throughout the criminal justice process.
Secondly, the program will establish a victim advocacy department to help victims of crime to understand their rights in every phase of criminal proceedings and conduct assessment of every case. Third, the project will hire more victim service providers based on the communities' needs in order to expand the availability and accessibility of these services in the remote areas. Fourth, the organization will carry out an evaluation of the current services provided to victims by the existing Victims Service Programs. This will be followed by developing necessary strategies to enhance delivery of appropriate services to victims.
The effectiveness of this program in achieving its objectives through the discussed methods will mainly depend on its ability to meet the physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological needs of rural crime victims. Notably, the program's effectiveness is directly linked to its capability to lessen the suffering and pain of crime victims as a result of the experience of victimization (Sims, Yost & Abbott, 2006, p.387).
The development of a Victim Service Program is a process that requires extensive consideration of various factors to ensure that the needs of crime victims are addressed. These considerations form important parts of a grant application document that must detailed in the proposal. The application must include a project title, project summary, and program narrative that incorporate problem statement, project description, and methods of reaching objectives.
"Chapter 21 - Rural Victims of Crime." (n.d.). Academic Departments. Retrieved from the
Medical University of South Carolina website: http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/scvaa/Academy%20Topics/textandppt_06/academy%20text%20pdf/CH%2021.07%20RuralVictims.pdf
Hook, M., Murray, M. & Seymour, a. (2005, August). Meeting the Needs of Underserved
Victims Video Discussion Guide. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Justice -- Office of Justice Programs website: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/pdftxt/underserved_victims_vdguide.pdf
McEwen, T.J (1995, May). Victim Assistance Programs: Whom They Service, What They Offer.
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