Law enforcement programs that prevent crimes that have been planned when tip information makes this possible; intervene to stop crimes that are in progress; and examine the circumstances surrounding an alleged crime or other infraction of the law and determine whether a crime was committed, the nature of the crime, the identity of the victim, the means employed, the time and location of its occurrence, the identity of the offender, the validity of any allegations, the conclusiveness of the evidence and the appropriate course of action.
Programs that help individuals and the general public protect themselves against crime or prevent its occurrence.
Programs that encourage the public to provide information, often anonymously, which might lead to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of people who have committed crimes. Included are special "tip" lines and crime reporting hotlines that have been established by law enforcement organizations, employers or community resources, but not law enforcement offices which take crime reports as a part of their everyday activities unless they have a special number for a particular type of report.
Programs whose objective is to help victims of crimes and their families recover from the trauma of their experience, get medical assistance when required, make their way through the legal system, have an opportunity to provide input to parole or clemency hearings, take appropriate steps, where relevant, to avoid becoming re-victimized, access the benefits to which they are entitled and rebuild their lives.
Programs that provide a variety of supportive services for people who have witnessed a crime which may include crisis counselling, shelter away from their homes, escort services, transportation, child care, financial assistance, protective services, information about the mechanics of court proceedings and/or advice and guidance concerning court appearances. Some programs focus specifically on child witnesses and help to prepare them for what they will experience in the courtroom.
Programs that handle reports of people who have disappeared, assist people who need to locate an individual who has been reported as missing or with whom contact has been lost and/or help relatives establish that a missing individual has, in fact, died. Also included are programs that take and/or follow up on reports of sightings of people reported as missing.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.