BJS Releases the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) Dashboard (N-DASH)

The NCVS Dashboard (N-DASH), a dynamic analysis tool, allows you to examine National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data on both personal and property victimization, by select victim, household, and incident characteristics.

Based on BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), the N-DASH is the first of its kind at BJS. This dynamic analysis tool allows users to examine NCVS data on both personal and property victimization, by select victim, household, and incident characteristics. The N-DASH modernizes public access to NCVS data in a new, interactive online data visualization dashboard. The N-DASH replaces and enhances the core functionality of the previous NCVS Victimization Analysis Tool (NVAT), increases the speed of conducting analyses, contains new data elements, and provides capability for custom graphics and other modern visualization features. The dashboard provides direct and user-friendly access to the largest collection of data on criminal victimization in the United States, beginning in 1993.

The NCVS is the nation’s primary source of information on criminal victimization. It is an annual data collection sponsored by BJS. The NCVS collects information from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households on nonfatal crimes, reported and not reported to the police, against persons age 12 or older.

The N-DASH was created by BJS Statisticians Grace Kena, Erika Harrell, and Alexandra Thompson, in partnership with staff from RTI International under award number 2020-85-CX-K017. BJS Lead Information Technology Specialist John Popham provided additional technical support.

Access the N-DASH

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Tenacity and Genetic Genealogy Provide Closure

Karen Kaye Knippers
Found Murdered May 25, 1981 — Identified May of 2021
A Child of God
 
Those are the words that will be engraved on the headstone of the woman whose body was discovered at a low water crossing near Dixon, Missouri with a pair of pantyhose tied around her neck, but who wasn’t identified until 40 years later.
 
Detective Doug (DJ) Renno of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office shared the story that was four decades in the making.
 
“It was very odd. We’re a small rural community and everybody in Dixon knows everybody else, yet after the body was found, nobody admitted to knowing her. People have said someone probably pulled off the interstate and dumped her, but you couldn’t get off the interstate and find this place by accident. The gravel road where she was found was off MM Highway, which is off Highway 28. It winds down in the back hollers with a few farms and homes scattered here and there, then loops around and comes back up on Highway 28 — if you make all the right turns. The person knew where he was going,” Renno said, adding that because the investigation didn’t reveal anything that would identify the woman, she was buried in the Waynesville Cemetery in a grave marked “Jane Doe.”
 
With no leads, the case sat dormant until 2012, when Lt. Dottie Taylor with the Missouri State Highway Patrol entered Jane Doe’s profile in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), a national information clearinghouse that compares the names of missing persons with unidentified remains. Nothing more was done until 2014, when Renno and Detective Linda Burgess attended a Missing in Missouri conference.
 
“We had been interested in this Jane Doe case and I had looked up information but hadn’t actively worked it. At the conference Todd Williams with NamUs spoke. He had been a coroner in Tennessee and had worked a case of an unidentified body and had spearheaded other investigations. It encouraged us so after the conference we decided to move forward with exhuming her body to obtain DNA,” Renno said.
 
Because neither he, nor anyone else at the sheriff’s office had ever attempted an exhumation, he talked to another agency that had to get answers to a long list of questions. Pulaski County Coroner Mikel Hartness submitted the paperwork to get the warrant needed to unearth Jane Doe’s body.
 
“We set a date and we exhumed her body. It was my ‘pet project,’ but there were also several other people involved in the exhumation: Deputies April Bryan, Pam Sherrell, Kim Luttrell, and Kandi Greer; evidence tech Hallie Nickels; Detectives Linda Burgess and Christian Butler; the Waynesville Rural Fire Department; Layne Lurcher and Vernon Martin with the Waynesville Memorial Chapel; Waynesville city officials and the Pulaski County Ambulance District. I absolutely couldn’t have done this without them,” Renno said.
 
Next, because Renno was concerned about shipping, Detective Burgess and Deputy Greer drove the remains to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI) in Fort Worth. The forensic laboratory is globally recognized as a leader in forensic identification. UNTCHI services include forensic genetic and anthropological examinations for criminal casework and missing persons identification, local CODIS operations, and development and management of NamUs for the U.S. Department of Justice.
 
Renno said they were hoping to get DNA from the remains but didn’t know what to expect after 30-plus years of being buried. Fortunately, a forensic anthropologist workup was successful at getting both mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mother to child, and STR (short tandem repeat) DNA. A DNA sample was then entered into CODIS (the Combined DNA Index System — the FBI’s program of support for criminal justice DNA databases) to see if they could get a hit, but that never happened. “Then in 2016, while working on another case, we went through an agency that sent us an anthropologist and people from the University of South Florida who were working on their PhD. We were talking about our Jane Doe, and they said if we sent the remains to them, they would try to do an isotope analysis.”
 
That chemical analysis of tooth enamel and bones can determine where a person spent most of his or her childhood, as well as the last several years of life.
 
“We knew when she died, and we knew her approximate age, but we wanted to get an idea of where she was from,” he explained, adding that the information they were seeking was provided — kind-of.
 
According to the report, the remains were likely those of a 25-to-45-year-old female, possibly Hispanic, approximately 60.5 to 67.5 inches tall. Dental analysis indicated the presence of numerous dental restorations. Chemical isotope data were consistent with an origin of birth within the United States mainland. Oxygen isotope samples indicated that the decedent likely grew up in the southwest region of the U.S. from Texas to the east coast and from Georgia to south Florida. However, oxygen isotopes from her bone samples suggested that she spent a significant amount of time before her death to the north of this region — possibly in Missouri.
“It gave us something — it narrowed it down from the entire United States — but it didn’t help us identify her. Then in late 2017, I heard about the DNA Doe Project (DDP), which uses genetic genealogy to identify remains. They had just had their first success using genetic genealogy to identify a woman that had been found deceased in Ohio, so I contacted Margaret Press and Colleen Fitzpatrick, the women who run it, and they told me what I needed to send,” Renno said. “I told them I already had DNA, but they said they did a full genome of DNA and they had to have the remains before they could continue.”
 
He also learned that although the investigative work would be done by volunteers at no cost, the sheriff’s office would have to come up with an estimated $1,700 to ship the remains to the lab, to get UNT to share the DNA they already had, and to fund the lab costs involved in extracting and sequencing DNA from the remains. Because the sheriff’s office budget would not allow the expenditure, they held a raffle and asked for donations from the community.
 
In the meantime, the DDP had received a large donation that covered the cost of lab work for several small agencies, including Pulaski County’s, so Renno “paid it forward” to contribute to the potential identification of another agency’s Doe.
 
In April 2019, they turned everything over to the DDP and in November, they were notified that the results had been sent to one of their volunteer genealogy teams. Then in December, they got the news they were waiting for. The DDP provided a possible name of Jane Doe and the name of a possible relative who was residing in Alexandria, Virginia.
 
“The next step was to contact her next-of-kin, which was her brother — Edward Knippers — and I did that by telephone. First, I asked if he had a sister that he lost track of. He said yes — that they had lost track of his younger sister in the 1980s. I asked if he would be willing to submit his DNA for a possible match to unidentified remains that we believed was his sister. He agreed so I contacted NamUs and through them, sent a DNA kit to the Alexandria Police Department Detective Unit. The detective went to his home, took a sample of his DNA, and submitted it. Then we kicked it back down to the University of North Texas for a one-to-one comparison. And that takes us right up to the time COVID hit,” Renno said.
 
After investigating the case for six years, he had to wait another 15 months to get the results of that comparison.
 
“There was also a little bit of miscommunication between me, NamUs and the UNT folks, who had changed some procedures. But we finally got things squared away. Because of the way the DNA database is set up, at the time we submitted the brother’s DNA, we also submitted her as a missing person in CODIS. They ran it and it came up a match,” Renno said.
 
He also received a letter from UNT’s Center of Human Identification stating that the STR and the mitochondrial DNA were “19.4 million times more likely to be observed under the scenario that the unidentified remains originated from a biological sibling of Edward C. Knippers as opposed to the unidentified remains originating from an unrelated individual from the Caucasian population.”
 
“Everybody asked if I was excited, but I said that I had known it for about 15 months — I just couldn’t prove it. But that letter was proof enough to move forward and release her identity,” Renno said, adding that they still have her remains and are now working to get donations from the community to hold a small memorial service, then rebury her body in the gravesite it had occupied so many years. “The funeral home has offered to provide some of their services free of charge, but I also want to give her a headstone and we already know what the headstone will say. It will include her name and will say she was found murdered on May 25, 1981, and she was identified in May of 2021. We have a photograph of her when she was much younger and we’re going to see if we can get that etched on. Her brother, who wants to help with the cost of the headstone, asked that a cross and the words ‘A child of God’ also be included.”
 
Renno said he is thankful for the support of former sheriffs JB King and Ronald Long and current sheriff Jimmy Bench, whose desire to get to the truth made it possible for him to work on the investigation.
 
Although he hasn’t been able to find a Social Security or driver’s license number for her, and no one knows where the evidence from the autopsy went — the DNA samples, the fingernail clippings, everything — is missing, through his investigation he was able to learn that Karen Knippers was born in Oklahoma on December 5, 1948; she grew up in Florida and lived in an apartment in St. Louis for some time before she was murdered. Renno said he’s hoping that with a name, the family photograph, and the additional information, someone will remember her and come forward because his work is far from over.
 
Now his hunt for the killer begins.
 
By Nancy Zoellner
 
 
 

Acknowledging and Honoring Her Life

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, in a community effort with the Memorial Chapels and Crematory of Waynesville/St. Robert, plans to provide Karen Knippers with the memorialization she deserves in the Waynesville Memorial Park Cemetery.

Anyone who wishes to participate may do so by mailing or taking a donation to Memorial Chapels, 202 Historic 66 West, Waynesville, MO 65583. Checks should be made out to Memorial Chapel, but donors need to write “Karen Knippers” on the memo line. Do not take or send donations to the sheriff’s office.

“All donations will be used towards the public funeral services, reinterment in Waynesville Memorial Park Cemetery and permanent monument placement for Knippers. We are not making any money on this. We are partnering with the community to provide this service. The more donations that come in, the nicer the monument she’ll have, but if nobody contributes a dime, we’re still going to make this happen,” said funeral director Layne Lercher. “I was there when the body was exhumed. I will be there when she’s laid to rest.”

For questions about donating, call Memorial Chapels at 573-774-6111. Anyone with any information on the case should contact Detective Doug Renno at 573-855-1069.

 
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Your tax-deductible contribution will go a long way to ensure the office of Sheriff in Missouri remains a strong, independent office answerable to those citizens that it is sworn to serve and protect.

Governor Parson Announces $4 Million in New Grant Programs to Combat Crimes Against Children and Provide Additional Support to Crime Victim Service Agencies

Governor Mike Parson announced $4 million in new grant opportunities to combat crimes against children and to provide additional funding to agencies that provide services to crime victims.

“The last two years have created hardships and strained resources across the nation, but the reported rise in crimes affecting children and the difficulties experienced by agencies that provide vital services to crime victims is most concerning,” Governor Parson said. “These new grant programs will allow us to better investigate and prosecute criminals who victimize children and support domestic violence service agencies and child advocacy centers who serve our most vulnerable citizens and help bring criminals to justice.”

A total of $2 million in grant opportunities is being made available to assist local law enforcement and prosecutors to combat crimes against children, which rose in 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional $2 million in grant opportunities is being made available to support crime victim service agencies, which have reported increases in service referrals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two competitive grants will utilize funds previously allocated to Missouri from the federal Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program (CESF). The U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance has approved the reallocation of CESF program funds to meet emergent needs that were not apparent when the CESF opportunity was originally made available. There is no local match required to access the funding. The grants will be administered by the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

The funding opportunity for the Crimes Against Children/Sex Crimes Grant is expected to open August 1, 2021. Projects may include hiring additional staff to investigate, prosecute, and detect crimes against children.  

The funding opportunity for the Victims of Crime Grant is expected to open September 1, 2021. Projects may include providing resource assistance to domestic violence service agencies and child advocacy centers and aiding other entities serving victims from vulnerable populations adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greene County Deputy Next Running 4 Heroes Grant Recipient

On December 11th, 2020, Greene County Sheriff’s Office deputies had been dealing with a male involved in a domestic disturbance with his estranged wife. Deputies reported this to the subject’s parole officer who issued an arrest warrant for the subject.

Deputies located the suspect, who had taken his wife’s car, and attempted to stop him, resulting in a vehicle pursuit. The pursuit reached speeds of up to over 100 mph.

During the pursuit, the suspect attempted to hit a deputy that was deploying spike strips but fortunately missed the deputy.
As the pursuit continued, Lt. Steve Westbrook had taken up position off the roadway and was outside of his patrol car in order to deploy spikes. The suspect intentionally drove toward and hit Lt. Westbrook’s vehicle at high speed, pushing the car into Lt. Westbrook.

Lt. Westbrook was thrown by the force of the impact, suffering numerous fractures in his arms, wrists, spine, pelvis, and leg. Some of the injuries required immediate surgical intervention to stabilize, in addition to numerous cuts and bruises.

Though Lt. Westbrook, a 24-year veteran of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, has a long road to recovery, we are pleased to share that he is recovering with support from his agency, as well as his loving wife, a long-time employee herself of Greene County. His recovery still has much progress to make, and we know your prayers mean more than anything as he continues down that road.

Zechariah, along with the Running 4 Heroes Board of Directors, are excited to announce that Deputy Lt. Steve Westbrook of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office is our May recipient of the $10,000 Injured First Responder Grant!

With this Grant, Zechariah has now been able to award $136,500 in funding to 18 different heroes since January, 2020!
Zechariah, his father and a few other Running 4 Heroes Board of Director Members will be in Greene County, Missouri on Saturday, May 22 to present Lt. Westbrook with the grant.

While in Greene County, Zechariah will also be running 1 mile to honor every fallen first responder lost in the great State of Missouri. This run should be open to the public, and we will provide more details as we finalize a time and location for this run.

Zechariah is excited to visit the state of Missouri for the first time, and to show support and appreciation to some of the finest heroes that Missouri has to offer! Our continued prayers go out to Lt. Westbrook as he completes his recovery, and we thank him for being a hero and role model that Zechariah can look up to!

State Leaders Recognize Crime Victims’ Rights During Ceremony

Sandy Karsten, director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, addresses those in attendance Thursday at the Missouri Crime Victims’ Ceremony at the Missouri Capitol. She expressed gratitude to personnel from several state and affiliated agencies who try to help victims of crimes, including domestic violence. Seated, to the right, are Cape Girardeau County Sheriff Ruth Ann Dickerson; Major Erik Holland, of the Platte County Sheriff’s Office; and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.​
 
Story by Joe Gamm | News Tribune​
 
Chris Wilson’s life experiences have shaped him.
 
None more so than his only sister’s tragic 1989 death at the hands of a young man playing with a handgun.

“It was tragic. It was senseless. And, it was traumatizing,” Wilson told about 200 people gathered Thursday on the south lawn of the Capitol for the annual Missouri Crime Victims’ Rights Ceremony. “Her death left a hole in my family that exists to this day.”

The Missouri Department of Public Safety called attention to the state’s new program to protect victims and witnesses of violent crime and their families who might be endangered for providing testimony about their cases during the ceremony.

The theme for the event was “Support victims. Build trust. And engage communities,” said Michelle Parks, senior programs specialist for the DPS Office for Victims of Crime.

New this year, Parks said, is a Witness Protection Fund that the Legislature passed in 2020 to pay for hotels, motels, emergency meals, and other items needed when protecting victims and witnesses of violent crime.

The state has recently begun approving claims applications for the funding, she said.

Like most victims, a violent crime was the Wilson family’s introduction to the criminal justice system. It was confusing and frustrating. It was a system the family knew little about.

And it often seemed unfair and uncaring to Wilson’s family and his sister’s memory.

However, within the system were prosecutors who did what they could to seek justice for his sister, he said.

Thirty years later, Wilson is the prosecuting attorney for Callaway County.

“My perspective has changed, but here’s what I know supporting victims is an incredibly important part of seeking justice,” he said. “It can sometimes be very, very difficult as we work with people who have suffered unimaginable loss and trauma.”

The work may sometimes be thankless, but is often rewarding, he said.

Prosecutors should always do all they can to support victims.

Building trust in any relationship takes time and work — more so with people who have suffered incredible losses.

Simple steps, like keeping a victim up to date, help build trust.

On the other hand, it can be difficult for a prosecutor to listen to a victim who is angry, upset and needs to be heard, even if they don’t have the answers, Wilson said.

“These are hard conversations at times, but we should do our best to explain the actions that we take,” he said.

And, it’s important for courts to hear victims’ concerns, he continued.

“Communication, listening and respect all build trust and go a long way to our seeking justice,” Wilson said.

More than ever, it is important that prosecutors engage communities and be as transparent as the law will allow, he said, so there can be trust with not only victims, but the community at large.

Wilson’s story is unique, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe said. It’s a story Kehoe heard when the two first ran for public offices in 2010.

The story affected him, Kehoe said.

“A lot of people run for public office for one reason or the other. But, somebody whose life was marred by tragedy led to an incredible pure heart,” Kehoe said.

Wilson’s conscience and his family and his calling, turned the memory of that tragedy into motivation to advance people’s rights, Kehoe said.

“We all know that violent crimes impact families, neighborhoods and communities,” he said. “We also know that each group is affected differently when violent crime occurs. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to help put these families, neighborhoods and communities back together.”
​​


Missouri is better when its people working together to cultivate safety within communities, protects victims and ensures the rights of victims, he said.

Kehoe assured listeners state leadership is committed to supporting victims and their families. He pointed out that as the ceremony took place on the Capitol steps, lawmakers were inside the building setting aside the initial $2 million in seed money for the WPF, as Gov. Mike Parson had requested.

At the same time, lawmakers were approving Victims of Crime Act funding, he said. The Missouri Department of Social Services administers VOCA funds at the state level, according to the DSS website, dss.mo.gov/dfas/victims-of-crime-act/.

It provides matching grants to support direct services to victims of crime through the state, assist crime victims and demonstrate support for victims.

“Today we are here to recognize and thank the network of Missourians, from the road officer — who is the first one on the scene, to the detective connecting the dots, to the prosecutor pursuing justice, to the advocate helping piece lives back together,” Kehoe said. “We also acknowledge the victims’ support family members and the witnesses and bystanders who are willing to come forward and assure justice is served.”

Department of Justice’s COPS Office Awards Grants to Improve Public Safety, Reduce Crime and Advance Community Policing

The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) awarded more than $536.7 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to increase law enforcement hiring and to improve school safety, combat opioids and methamphetamine, advance community policing efforts, provide training to the law enforcement field, and protect the health of our nation’s officers and deputies.

“Building on the successes in reducing violent crime in 2017, 2018, and 2019, these Department of Justice grants for 2020 help to fight violent crime and deadly narcotics, to improve public safety, and to support the officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen.  “Strong partnerships of federal, ​​state, and local law enforcement can produce better results for the public we all serve.”

“Supporting the men and women of law enforcement as they serve their communities is of paramount importance to the COPS Office,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith.  “Now more than ever, it is critical that we continue to provide state, local and tribal agencies the resources they desperately need to continue to advance public safety, which they are so committed to doing.  We are all the beneficiaries of that work.”

Funds awarded by the COPS Office in FY2020 include:

COPS Hiring Program (CHP):  Nearly $400 million in CHP grant funding was awarded to 605 law enforcement agencies across the nation, which will allow those agencies to hire 2,761 additional full-time law enforcement professionals.  CHP provides funding for the hiring and rehiring of entry-level career law enforcement officers in an effort to create and preserve jobs and increase community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.

School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP):  Through SVPP, nearly $49 million was awarded to 160 states, units of local government, Indian tribes, and public agencies to be used to improve security at schools and on school grounds.  Awards included funding for coordination with local law enforcement; training for local law enforcement officers to prevent school violence against others and self; placement and use of metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures; acquisition and installation of technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency; and other measures providing significant improvements in security.

Community Policing Development (CPD):  Through CPD, 24 awards were announced totaling nearly $8 million in funding to advance the practice of community policing in law enforcement.  CPD funds are used to develop the capacity of law enforcement to implement community policing by providing guidance on promising practices through the development and testing of innovative strategies; building knowledge about effective practices and outcomes; and supporting new, creative approaches to preventing crime and promoting safe communities.

Community Policing Development Microgrants Program:  Through CPD Microgrants, nearly $2.2 million was awarded to 29 local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies to implement demonstration or pilot projects in their jurisdictions offering creative ideas to advance crime fighting, community engagement, problem solving, or organizational changes to support community policing.

COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP):  Through CAMP, approximately $12 million in grant funding was awarded to 12 state law enforcement agencies that have demonstrated numerous seizures of precursor chemicals, finished methamphetamine, laboratories, and laboratory dump seizures.  This funding will support the location or investigation of illicit activities related to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine, including precursor diversion, laboratories, or methamphetamine traffickers.

Anti-Heroin Task Force (AHTF) Program:  More than $29.7 million in AHTF grant funding was awarded to 14 state law enforcement agencies with multijurisdictional reach and interdisciplinary team (e.g., task force) structures in states with high per capita rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and other opioids.  This funding will support the location or investigation of illicit activities through statewide collaboration related to the distribution of heroin, fentanyl, or carfentanil or the unlawful distribution of prescription opioids.

Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA):  Through LEMHWA, 41 awards were announced totaling $4.5 million to improve the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services for law enforcement through training and technical assistance, demonstration projects, implementation of promising practices related to peer mentoring mental health and wellness, and suicide prevention programs.

Preparing for Active Shooter Situations (PASS):  Approximately $8.8 million in PASS funding was awarded to Texas State University / ALERRT to offer integrated, scenario-based response courses and cross-disciplinary active shooter training to law enforcement and other first responders nationally.

Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS):  CTAS provides resources for federally recognized tribes from the COPS Office, the Office of Justice Programs, and the Office on Violence Against Women.  Through CTAS, the COPS Office made 64 Tribal Resources Grant Program awards for tribal officer hiring, equipment, and/or training to 41 tribes, with funding totaling approximately $22.5 million.

Tribal Resources Grant Program – Technical Assistance (TRGP-TA):  Through TRGP-TA, the COPS Office provided $800,000 to fund projects related to the topics of (1) cold cases and missing or murdered indigenous persons and (2) developing an Alaskan law enforcement recruitment strategy.

Full lists of all announced COPS Office awards are available here.

Justice Department Awards $144Million to Improve Crime Victim Services

The Department of Justice today awarded grants totaling over $144 million to enhance services for victims of crime across the United States.

“The Department of Justice is steadfast in its commitment to protecting public safety and bringing justice to those who have been victimized,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “The investments we are making today will support service providers as they work to secure the legal rights of victims and put survivors of criminal acts on the road to recovery.”

All grant money being awarded today comes from offices within the department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP). Approximately $64.3 million was awarded under Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) grant programs; over $54.1 million was awarded under Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) programs; over $19.9 million was awarded under Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) grant programs; and nearly $5.7 million was awarded under two National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grant programs.

“As lockdowns and lawlessness fuel crime in America’s homes and communities, more people are vulnerable to victimization and those who have been victimized face new hurdles,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “The Office of Justice Programs is committed to giving our victim service partners the tools they need to better serve their clients and protect victims’ rights.”

Grants awarded under FY 2020 OVC programs further the department’s mission to enhance the field’s response to victims of crime. Specific programs are:

  • The Emergency and Transitional Shelter and Housing Assistance for Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Victims and their Companion Animals Grant program gives over $2.2 million to six organizations for shelter and transitional housing to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking and their companion animals. 
  • The Improving Community Preparedness to Assist Victims of Mass Violence or Domestic Terrorism: Training and Technical Assistance Project awards nearly $3 million to provide individualized training and technical assistance to state, local and tribal law enforcement; units of government; emergency managers; victim service providers; and other stakeholders to help augment their community emergency management response plans to ensure that the needs of victims, families and first responders are addressed after incidents of criminal mass violence or domestic terrorism. 
  • The Advancing the Use of Technology to Assist Victims of Crime program gives over $6.2 million to five organizations to support projects that demonstrate innovative strategies to create, expand or enhance the use of technology to interact directly with crime victims and to provide information, referrals, crisis assistance and long-term help. 
  • The Addressing Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting program gives nearly $1.8 million to six recipients to address communities’ responses to victims of female genital mutilation and over $1 million to one organization to provide targeted technical assistance to inform front-line providers on how to identify and serve victims and persons at-risk of being victimized. 
  • The Targeted Training and Technical Assistance for VOCA Victim Assistance and Compensation Administrators program awards nearly $5 million specifically to provide peer-to-peer training on federal grants management and administration for Victims of Crime Act victim assistance grantees and subgrantees. 
  • The Crime Victims’ Rights Legal Clinics program gives nearly $4 million to four recipients to enforce crime victims’ rights at the federal level under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act and at the state, local or tribal level under substantially similar state, local, or tribal laws. Another $1 million is awarded to a training and technical assistance provider to support the clinics as they launch or expand their crime victims’ rights clinics and train allied professionals. 
  • The Law Enforcement-Based Victim Specialist program gives over $8.6 million to 22 recipients to develop or enhance crime victim specialist programs within law enforcement agencies to better support victims through the criminal justice process, and another $2 million to one organization to support training and technical assistance for the grantees. 
  • The Crime Victim Compensation Program Assessment program gives nearly $2.4 million to seven recipients to help selected states assess victims’ access to compensation programs with the goal of increasing the number of victims aware of this resource. 
  • The State Victim Liaison Project gives over $4.7 million to 10 organizations to place one or more experienced crime victim liaisons within selected VOCA State Administrating Agencies to act as a bridge between the state and other state-based nongovernmental organizations in order to identify gaps in victim services and improve access to resources for crime victims in rural/tribal areas, older victims of crime and victims of violent crime. 
  • The Training for Law Enforcement to Improve Identification of and Response to Elder Fraud Victims program awards nearly $2 million to provide training and technical assistance to enhance law enforcement’s ability to identify elder fraud victims, connect those victims with available services, and bring the fraudsters to justice. 
  • The Enhancing Services for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation program awards nearly $6 million to 12 organizations to support communities in providing services to older victims of abuse and exploitation using trauma-informed approaches that protect the safety and confidentiality of victims. 
  • The Enhancing Community Responses to America’s Drug Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims program gives over $12 million to 17 organizations to support direct services to children and youth who are crime victims as a result of the nation’s addiction crisis; and nearly $1.5 million to one organization to support training and technical assistance for the direct services grantees. In addition, OVC will award $250,000 in continuation funding to the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma to provide services to Tribal children and youth who are victimized as the result of the opioid crisis. 
  • The National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) Community Awareness Program gives $300,000 to an eligible organization to continue supporting public awareness, community outreach, and education activities for crime victims’ rights and services during NCVRW in April 2021.

Grants awarded under FY 2020 OJJDP programs further the department’s mission of supporting the effective investigation and prosecution of child abuse and neglect cases.

  • Under the Victims of Child Abuse Act Support for Children’s Advocacy Centers program, OJJDP awarded more than $18.3 million in continuation funding to the National Children’s Alliance in Washington D.C. This program will provide support to Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) through three funding categories: subgrants to local CACs, state chapters and multidisciplinary teams ($15.3 million); subgrants to provide services for victims of child pornography ($2 million); and efforts to help military installations address cases of child abuse, including subgrants to local CACs ($1 million). 
  • OJJDP also awarded $5 million in continuation funding to four organizations via the VOCA Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. This program supports regional centers, one situated within each of the four U.S. Census regions, that help to build and establish multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), local programs, and state chapter organizations that respond to child abuse and neglect; and deliver training and technical assistance that strengthen existing MDTs, local CACs and state chapter organizations. 
  • Through the Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCA) Training and Technical Assistance for Child Abuse Professionals program, OJJDP awarded $2.5 million to the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Alabama. This program promotes improved child interview techniques, thorough investigative methods, interagency coordination and effective presentation of evidence in court. The program will provide training and technical assistance to establish coordinated multidisciplinary programs that address child maltreatment. 
  • OJJDP awarded more than $10.8 million in continuation funding to the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association in Washington under the Court Appointed Special Advocates Membership, Accreditation, and Subgrants Program and Training and Technical Assistance. This program aims to serve and improve outcomes for children in the dependency system; provide effective advocacy for abused and neglected children, including foster care youth; and build on the training and technical assistance program that OJJDP has developed in collaboration with the National CASA Association. 
  • OJJDP awarded more than $3.1 million to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in Nevada under the Child Abuse Training for Judicial and Court Personnel program to improve juvenile justice and dependency systems’ response to child abuse and neglect, as well as child sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. This program provides judicial, legal and social service professionals with training and technical assistance to improve their understanding of child abuse; their ability to prevent placement in foster care when possible; and their ability to reunify families after foster care placement. 
  • OJJDP awarded more than $7.2 million to the National Children’s Alliance to support the American Indian and Alaska Native Subgrant Program. This program will support the expansion of new satellite CACs through the provision of subgrants to existing CACs in Alaska, and to tribes (or existing CACs serving tribes) interested in establishing a satellite CAC in the lower 48 states.
    Another $4.8 million was awarded to eight organizations through the Alaska Children’s Advocacy Center Expansion Initiative for Child Abuse Victims to support programmatic enhancements for existing Alaska-based CACs to increase the range and quality of services as well as specific infrastructure needs. 
  • Under the Training and Technical Assistance To Expand Children’s Advocacy Centers Serving American Indian/Alaska Native Communities program, OJJDP awarded $1 million to the University of Montana to improve the capacity of child abuse professionals and promote the effective delivery of the evidence-informed CACs model and the multidisciplinary response to child abuse across American Indian/Alaska Native communities. 
  • OJJDP awarded $750,000 to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma via the Tribal Children’s Advocacy Center Expansion Initiative for Child Abuse Victims program to improve the capacity of child abuse professionals and promote the effective delivery of the evidence-informed CAC model and the multidisciplinary response to child abuse in tribal communities.
    OJJDP awarded $500,000 to the Alaska Children’s Alliance (State Chapter) to enhance and expand the coordinated multidisciplinary investigation and prosecution of child abuse in Alaska through targeted training and technical assistance.

Grants awarded under FY 2020 SMART programs further the department’s mission of keeping communities safe by promoting innovation and best practices in preventing and protecting the public from sexual violence. Specific programs:

  • The National Sex Offender Public Website program awards over $900,000 for continued Maintenance and Operation of the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website program. 
  • The Keep Young Athletes Safe program awards over $2.2 million to support the ongoing implementation of prevention measures to safeguard amateur athletes from sexual, physical and emotional abuse in the athletic programs of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, each national governing body and each Paralympic sports organization. 
  • The Adam Walsh Act program awards over $16.7 million to 61 recipients to help jurisdictions develop and enhance programs designed to implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), which provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States. Almost $800,000 is being awarded to provide training and technical assistance to jurisdictions implementing SORNA standards.

Grants awarded under FY 2020 NIJ programs aim to evaluate and fund research projects related to perpetrators and victims of elder abuse. Specific programs:

  • The Research and Evaluation of Victims of Crime program gives over $4.2 million to six recipients to evaluate programs that provide services for victims of crime and research the financial costs of victimization. 
  • The Research on the Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Elderly Individuals program awarded just under $1.5 million to two recipients to fund research projects to, respectively, better differentiate physical abuse of elderly individuals from accidental injury and to improve the reporting of elder abuse.

For a complete list of individual grant programs, amounts to be awarded and the jurisdictions that will receive funding, visit: https://www.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh241/files/media/document/ovcvictimsfactsheet.pdf.

In addition to the grants listed above, OJP awarded nearly $101 million in funding to combat human trafficking and provide vital services to trafficking victims throughout the United States. For a complete list of individual grant programs, award amounts and jurisdictions that will receive this funding, visit: https://www.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh241/files/media/document/ovchumantraffickingfactsheet.pdf.