Federal Victims Strategy Evaluation, Final Report

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Context

The Federal Victims of Crime Initiative (VCI), administered by the Department of Justice Canada's Policy Centre for Victim Issues (PCVI), was launched in March 2000 to improve the experience of victims in the criminal justice system.

In 2004, the Department of Justice undertook a summative evaluation of the VCI. The evaluation and other research showed that victim satisfaction with their experience in the criminal justice system varied widely. Awareness of victim needs by criminal justice system personnel remained low and victims stressed the need for information, services and assistance as well as validation and recognition that they were more than simply a witness. There was also a need for greater financial assistance to support victims of crime in attending sentencing and parole hearings. Victims also sought better information services from correctional and parole offices about the perpetrators of crimes while they were in the correctional system.

In 2007, the Government of Canada announced additional funding to give victims a more effective voice in the federal corrections and justice system and greater access to services through the Federal Victims Strategy (FVS). Building on the VCI, the FVS extends the reach of the federal government in supporting victims of crime across the continuum of the criminal justice system and includes initiatives within Public Safety Canada (PSC) (including the Parole Board of Canada [PBC] and Correctional Service Canada), the Department of Justice Canada, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), and it establishes a Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime. This document presents the final report of the 2010 Summative Evaluation of the FVS.

1.2 Scope and Objectives of the Evaluation

The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the continued relevance and performance of the following activities under the FVS:

  • the Victims Fund;
  • criminal law reform and policy development;
  • the secretariat function of the PCVI for the Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Working Group on Victims of Crime;
  • the development of public legal education and information (PLEI) materials and awareness raising/information sharing activities; and
  • building capacity of northern service providers.

Although the Government of Canada provides resources to support the needs of victims of crime for several federal initiatives under the Strategy, the scope of the evaluation is limited to those activities undertaken by the Department of Justice PCVI from 2005-06 to 2009-10, including those under the former VCI.

1.3 Structure of the Report

This document contains five sections including the present introductory section (Section 1):

  • Section 2 describes the rationale, objectives, activities, and budget of the FVS;
  • Section 3 outlines the methodology used in the evaluation, including data sources and data collection methods;
  • Section 4 describes the findings of the evaluation with respect to the relevance and performance (i.e. effectiveness, efficiency and economy) of the Strategy; and
  • Section 5 describes the conclusions and recommendations arising from the evaluation.
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