Boise State criminal justice researchers make recommendations to better serve crime victims

Posted at 12:01 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 02:01:40-05

BOISE — Boise State criminal justice researchers partner with the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance to learn how they can better serve victims of crimes.

“The National Crime Victimization survey, it’s probably our best source of victimization data, and the most recent survey found that only eight percent of crime victims got victim services,” said Laura King, Boise State University associate professor of criminal justice.

The researchers created a project funded by the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence to serve crime victims better.

"So they are able to recover from the trauma of crime and to enhance community awareness for the services that are available," said King.

This includes a survey they sent out to 103 of Idaho's agencies that provide victims of crimes with help.

“To see what issues there were for crime victims in the state, what issues they have in seeking services, and particularly the issues service providers face in providing services to victims," said King.

From the report, the researchers offer 20 recommendations to the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance that include, but aren't limited to:

  • Providing state-appropriated funding for crime victim services in Idaho which could offer flexibility in how monies are used. This would address barriers that providers routinely encounter with federal funds and would speed the delivery of services.
  • Encouraging service providers to conduct ongoing victim satisfaction surveys and utilize the online crime victim survey currently being administered as a part of the Biennial Report on Victimization and Victim Services.
  • Expanding outreach and service provision to crime victims and vulnerable populations who may have unique needs or be less aware of services.
  • Providing additional funding and support to agencies impacted by service provision barriers, particularly community-based victim service agencies and agencies located in, or serving, more rural areas.

"The data provided by this report will assist the council in making future funding decisions and allows us to more effectively direct funds to areas of greatest need and explore ways to target and fill gaps in available services,” said Heather Cunningham, executive director of the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance.

You can read the full report on the Boise State Criminal Justice website: [].