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New Guide Will Help Justice System Deal With Mass Violence Victims

A new guide to help courts deal with mass violence victims has been published by the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center (NMVVRC). The guide is designed to help prosecutors, victim services and mental/ behavioral health providers, and allied professionals plan for high-profile trials with a focus on victims' and survivors' needs, and effective and coordinated strategies to meet them. The 95-page guide is based on the best practices from previous trials where defendants were charged with federal and state crimes stemming from mass casualties and devastating victim and community impact.

NMVVRC Director Dr. Dean Kilpatrick said that mass violence trials always involve many victims, survivors, and members of impacted communities, and are high-profile with significant media interest. "Our focus with this important guide is to make sure that victims' needs are identified and addressed," Kilpatrick said. The guide includes instruction on the unique aspects of mass violence incident trials, victims’ rights, and survivor safety and security; detailed planning strategies to ensure victim/survivor support efforts are clear and coordinated, and practical direction for implementing a planning strategy during court processes, including continuing services for victims in cases' post-trial phases.