Vision 21’s reach must extend to mental health, medical, indigent defense, research, homeless advocacy, juvenile justice, legal services, and other fields that play an integral role in promoting safe and healthy communities. Substantial, systematic, and sustained collaboration will be essential to fulfilling the promise of Vision 21. The final chapter of this report outlines Vision 21 stakeholders’ recommendations for beginning the transformative change, which fall into the following four broad categories:
1. Conduct continuous rather than episodic strategic planning in the victim assistance field to effect real change in research, policy, programming, and capacity building.
2. Support the development of research to build a body of evidence-based knowledge and generate, collect, and analyze quantitative and qualitative data on victimization, emerging victimization trends, services and behaviors, and enforcement efforts.
3. Ensure the statutory, policy, and programmatic flexibility to address enduring and emerging crime victim issues.
4. Build and institutionalize capacity through an infusion of technology, training, and innovation to ensure that the field is equipped to meet the demands of the 21st century.
When OVC and its project partners first embarked on the Vision 21 process, we hesitated to use “Transforming Victim Services” as part of the Vision 21 title. We wondered if advocates and service providers in the field would interpret “transforming” as dismissive of the current state of practice or minimizing the extraordinary successes of the pioneering advocates in the field. Yet, we found that Vision 21 clarified that practitioners in this field, which began as a transformative movement, would not be content with maintaining the status quo or a less than bold exploration of the issues.
Now, 30 years after the release of the 1982 Final Report of the President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime, we believe that the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report captures another seminal opportunity in the history of the crime victims’ movement. Armed with the information summarized in this report, we must take the next step: turning today’s vision into tomorrow’s reality for crime victims in this country.
Download the full report.