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​Victims' Services Advisory Committee (VSAC)

The VSAC advises PCCD on policies, priorities, and performance standards for victims’ services and compensation.

Mission

To promote a standard of excellence in crime victim services.

VSAC Meeting Dates for 2018

  • February 13, 2018
  • May 15, 2018
  • August 14, 2018
  • November 13, 2018

VSAC Subcommittees

VSAC oversees two subcommittees that focus on priorities outlined in its current strategic plan.  They are the Access to Services Subcommittee and the Services & Standards Subcommittee.  Each VSAC member was asked to serve on one of the two subcommittees, along with a number of individuals who are not on VSAC, to ensure appropriate discipline, size, and geographic representation.

Access to Services Subcommittee

The goal of the Access to Services Subcommittee is to ensure statewide access to core victim services for victims of criminal and juvenile offenders. To achieve this goal, the subcommittee enlisted the Center for Survey Research at Penn State Harrisburg to conduct a statewide assessment of crime victims’ unmet needs and service gaps  to determine how best to provide them with access to core services.  The assessment will provide a framework for use in future planning, enabling PCCD to respond appropriately to help strengthen victim services.  The subcommittee will also consider the changing demographics of Pennsylvania’s population, and the impact that may have on crime victim services.  

Services & Standards Subcommittee

The goal of the Services & Standards Subcommittee is to update standards, develop new standards, and develop an ongoing strategy for keeping them current.

VSAC Strategic Planning 2015

In December 2014, President Obama signed into law the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriation Act, 2015”.  The law raised the VOCA cap from $745 Million to $2.361 Billion, more than tripling the amount of VOCA funding that the federal government provided to states in federal fiscal year 2015-2016 to help crime victims. For Pennsylvania, this meant a four-fold increase in federal VOCA funding, from $17Million to $77Million. This unprecedented funding increase presented numerous opportunities to greatly expand the capacity of the commonwealth’s victim service providers to meet the critical needs of victims of all types of crimes. As a result of this significant funding increase, VSAC undertook a year-long comprehensive strategic planning process in 2015.  The below document, “2015 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Strategic Planning Process and Outcomes” provides a brief overview of the issues driving the year-long strategic planning process for the distribution of VOCA funding. VSAC’s goal was to establish a framework for the distribution of VOCA funding that would ensure stable and predictable funding for the delivery of direct services to crime victims in Pennsylvania over the next several years while also providing the opportunity for new and innovative programs to obtain VOCA funding to promote new or enhanced service delivery for crime victims. 

2015 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Strategic Planning Process and Outcomes (PDF)

As part of the strategic planning process, VSAC needed to gather information about the current status of victim services, regardless of funding streams including assessing the capacity of victim service agencies, the unmet needs of victims, underserved populations, barriers to service,  emerging issues and current demographics.  A variety of information was provided to VSAC that included both state and national sources that guided VSAC’s approach on how best to allocate the increased VOCA funds.  These select items included: 

Vision 21 Transforming Victim Services Executive Summary (PDF) 

Vision 21 Transforming Victim Services Final Report (PDF) 

Victims Survey - A VSAC 5-Question Survey to Various Stakeholders on Victim Needs & Barriers (PDF)

VSAC Capacity Building Survey Final Report (PDF) 

Salary Range by County Class (PDF) 

2013 VOCA Survey National Perspective (PDF) 

2013 VOCA Survey Pennsylvania Profile (PDF) 

BJS National Victimization Survey 2013 (PDF)