Source: (2001) Association of State Correctional Administrators.

In overview, the survey findings depict a hopeful beginning for the provision of victim services in departments of corrections. That 80 percent of the respondents to the survey have initiated Victim Services Units (VSUs), the majority of VSUs having been established in the past decade, demonstrate that the importance of providing victim services and response mechanisms within departments of corrections has been broadly acknowledged and taken hold nationally. At the same time, as demonstrated by the relatively few departments that have assigned more than one staff person to the function or initiated a broad range of programs and services, the provision of victim services has as yet failed to emerge as a mission-critical, or central operational function of corrections. The initiation of victim services is clearly a work in progress in its early stages. Oftentimes, correctional administrators reported, victim services have taken a backseat not due to the lack of will or interest by correctional practitioners, as much as the lack of resources state policymakers have made available to departments of corrections for such services, or the prevailing competition for scarce resources to accomplish critical tasks, the security of the institutions and the safety or correctional staff and the communities they serve being foremost among them. (excerpt)


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