Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Creating a Victim Assistance Plan
This month, the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) will launch a new multimedia Web training series to introduce the Web-based toolkit Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources to civic, government, and business sectors that are interested in developing a comprehensive victim assistance plan. Lessons learned from past incidents indicate that with advanced planning (including establishing victim assistance protocols) and developing and maintaining multidisciplinary partnerships, communities are better prepared to engage a holistic approach to victim assistance to ensure that each victim's needs are met. The Web training will provide an in-depth overview of partnerships, planning, response, and recovery.
Violent Criminal Apprehension Program Part 2: The Highway Serial Killings Initiative
To raise awareness among law enforcement agencies—and the public—about highway serial killings and to focus ViCAP resources on helping to solve these cases, in 2004 the FBI began the Highway Serial Killings (HSK) Initiative, with support from the trucking industry.
Without ViCAP—part of the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime—local law enforcement agencies investigating one of these cases may have no way of knowing a murder in their jurisdiction is similar to killings committed elsewhere. Since the initiative began, ViCAP analysts have compiled a list of more than 750 murder victims found along or near U.S. highways, as well as nearly 450 potential suspects.
The database is constantly monitored for cases that meet the HSK criteria. When cases are identified, ViCAP analysts can provide information to local law enforcement agencies regarding these cases—anything from timeline data to advice on what records to subpoena to suggesting a point of contact at another police department with similar cases.
Addressing the Challenges of Maintaining a Robust State and Regional Information Sharing Environment
Fiscal Year 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science Funding Bill Released
The House Appropriations Committee released the fiscal year 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee. The bill funds the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies.
The legislation contains $56 billion in total discretionary funding, an increase of $279 million over fiscal year 2016 and $1.4 billion above the President’s request for these programs. The bill targets these increases to programs of national importance, such as federal law enforcement, national security (including cybercrime and counter-terror activities), economic development, illegal drug efforts, trade enforcement, and space exploration programs. The bill also includes legislative provisions to protect the Constitutional rights of all Americans and to limit bureaucratic overreach.
SEARCH Offers Resource for Developing Common Charge Tables
As system interoperability grows, it is important for justice stakeholders to share charge information in order to improve the overall accuracy of the respective data systems involved in the justice process.
However, the justice community has developed multiple ways to represent and describe offenses in their data systems—in fact, such terms as “offenses,” “crimes,” and “charges” are often used interchangeably. These differences underscore the need to align charge data between data systems.
SEARCH has prepared a new Technical Brief as a resource to stakeholders seeking to develop common charge tables. It analyzes a collection of common charge tables used in six states to determine the core elements a charge table should include and identifies appropriate NIEM elements for each.