What is the New York Crime Victims Legal Network?
In 2018, NY Crime Victims Legal Help is being piloted (tested) in Erie, Niagara, and Genesee counties. If you are a victim of crime, live or have a civil legal problem in one of these counties, our Get Started tool and Legal Help Directory can help you find legal assistance.
Other information and resources on NY Crime Victims Legal Help are available to all victims of crime, attorneys, and advocates.
The New York Crime Victims Legal Network is a partnership of organizations working together to better address the civil legal needs of crime victims. We developed this online resource, the New York Crime Victims Legal Help, to make it easier for victims of crime to get legal information and services.
People often have legal needs as a result of being a victim of crime. For many crime victims, the problems they face after a crime can be challenging, especially when they have several legal needs and are unsure where they can go for help. In addition to working with law enforcement and the criminal justice system, a victim may also have non-criminal needs – civil legal needs – that impact the basic necessities in their life, like housing, employment, and safety.
To address this need for comprehensive victim services, in 2012 the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime funded six demonstration projects across the country to create models of victim legal assistance networks. The goal of these networks is to offer a wider range of legal assistance that victims need as a result of their victimization.
In 2014, the New York State Office of Victim Services became the recipient of a Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime grant award, and partnered with Empire Justice Center, the Center for Human Services Research at SUNY Albany, and Pro Bono Net to create the New York Crime Victims Legal Network. An advisory committee of attorneys, advocates, crime victims, and providers guide and support the development of the Network. Our work is informed by a comprehensive needs assessment that the Center for Human Services Research completed in 2017 to identify existing gaps in civil legal services for crime victims. The complete report is available on CHSR’s website.
The Network is currently being piloted in Erie, Genesee and Niagara counties to assist victims of crime with civil legal matters if they either live in or have been victimized in those counties. These online tools can connect them with information and assistance. For help in other counties with a civil legal matter, contact the New York State Bar Association or your local Bar Association for more information, or visit LawHelpNY.org. Throughout 2019, the Network will expand, with the goal of providing crime victims access to civil legal services in every county in the state outside of New York City. Download our flyer (PDF) to learn more.
Together with the other national networks, we are part of the Office for Victims of Crime’s Vision 21 initiative’s effort to provide holistic legal assistance to all victims of crime.