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Services to Victims of Violent Crimes Impact Evaluation

The Federal Crime Victims Fund was established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) to support annual block grants that would supplement the states provision of financial assistance and direct services to crime victims.

The funding for VOCA is both substantial and growing. From 1986 through 1998, VOCA compensation programs received over $705 million. VOCA assistance programs received over $1.3 billion.

In light of the enormous criminal justice resources dedicated to VOCA, a careful evaluation of whether these programs are accomplishing what they were designed to do is vitally important.

In this endeavor, beginning in 1999, SANDAG assisted the Urban Institute in evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of victim compensation and assistance programs funded through the Victims of Crime Act.

The goal of the project was to determine if VOCA compensation and assistance programs are delivering a coordinated, comprehensive set of services to reduce the financial, physical, psychological, and emotional costs and consequences of criminal victimization.

The following was evaluated: the process by which VOCA is managed at the state level, how VOCA compensation and assistance programs serve crime victims, and how variations in program administration and operations affect the effectiveness and efficiency of VOCA services.

SANDAG staff assisted in designing data collection instruments, conducted the national survey of VOCA program administrators, assisted with program site visits and victims' focus groups, interviewed victims who received services, and assisted in data analyses.

To either download the April 2003 report or obtain a bound copy, please visit the Urban Institute website.

Project Manager

Dr. Cynthia Burke, Director, Criminal Justice Research Division
Phone: (619) 699-1910, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or