The state Office of Victim Services funds and supports more than 200 victim assistance programs that provide services, such as crisis counseling, advocacy, emergency shelter, civil legal assistance and relocation assistance, to victims and survivors and their families. The agency also provides financial assistance and reimbursement to eligible victims of crime for medical and counseling expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and support, in addition to other assistance.
New York’s commitment to victims of violent crime began in 1966 with the establishment of the Crime Victims Compensation Board, subsequently renamed the Crime Victims Board. The agency became the Office of Victim Services in 2010.
Elizabeth Cronin, Esq., Director
Elizabeth Cronin has served as Director of the Office of Victim Services since 2013. Prior to joining state service, she was the Director of the Office of Legal Affairs at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, responsible for overseeing the Staff Attorneys’ Office and circuit mediation office. Director Cronin was previously a Deputy Bureau Chief and Assistant District Attorney for the Special Prosecutions Division of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office; and an adjunct professor at Pace University where she taught courses in criminal justice, domestic violence and law enforcement ethics. She has two certifications in coaching and is a frequent public speaker and published author on legal and administrative topics. Ms. Cronin earned her bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University (Fairfield, Conn.) and law degree from the Pace University School of Law.
Katie Egglefield, Deputy Director of Compensation
Katie Egglefield has been the Deputy Director of Compensation since August 2021. In this role, Katie oversees the Victim Compensation Program, as well as the Forensic Rape Exam (FRE) Direct Reimbursement Program operations. Prior to her work in the victim services field, she worked for the New York State Department of Health, conducting health services research and evaluating quality of health care delivery for the state. Katie’s other experience includes monitoring health data compliance and process development, in both the public and private sector. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University at Buffalo and master's degree from the University at Albany.
Cillian Flavin, Deputy Director for Operations and Program Development
Cillian Flavin has been the Deputy Director for Operations and Program Development since 2020. In this role, he oversees the agency’s administrative, finance, grants and training/outreach functions. He has more than a decade of experience in executive and legislative policy, as well as budget and operations at the state and county level in New York. Prior to joining OVS, he worked for the New York State Division of the Budget, the Albany County Department of Management and Budget, and the New York State Assembly. Cillian earned his bachelor’s degree from University College Cork (Cork, Ireland), and master’s degree from The College of Saint Rose.
John Watson, General Counsel
John Watson has been General Counsel since 2006. In this role, he manages the agency’s Legal Unit; drafts, negotiates and advocates for legislative and regulatory changes to better meet the needs of victims of crime and their families; and evaluates and advises the Governor’s Office about proposed statutory changes; among other responsibilities. Prior to joining OVS, he served as Counsel to a Lieutenant Governor of New York State, and Counsel and Legislative Director to members of the New York State Senate. John earned his bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University, master’s degree from the Rockefeller School at the University at Albany, and law degree from Albany Law School.
Email: [email protected]
OVS has a three-tiered mission to: provide compensation to victims of crime, their family members, and other eligible individuals in a timely, efficient and compassionate manner; fund direct services to victims of crime and their families through a network of programs across New York State; and advocate for the rights and benefits of all victims of crime.
Compensation and Reimbursement
OVS provides substantial financial relief to victims of crime and their families by paying unreimbursed crime-related expenses, including but not limited to: medical and funeral expenses, loss of earnings or support, counseling costs, crime scene clean-up expenses, the cost to repair or replace items of essential personal property, reasonable and necessary court transportation expenses, assistance to crime victims acting as a good Samaritan, the cost of residing at or utilizing the services of a domestic violence shelter, and limited attorney fees.
Funding, Training and Support for Victim Assistance Programs
The agency provides funding, training and support to a network of victim assistance programs that provide direct services victims of crime and their families. Funded by the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and the state Criminal Justice Improvement Account, these grant awards are distributed through a competitive process. The Training and Outreach Unit coordinates virtual and in-person professional development opportunities for service providers and advocates.
OVS partners with other state agencies, crime victim coalitions, federal agencies, national professional organizations on victim and witness service initiatives and priorities, and staff serve on a variety of state task forces, coalitions and committees that aim to address the needs of victims of crime and vulnerable New Yorkers. The agency’s work has resulted in amendments to state law that protect and extend the rights of victims of crime and expand the services and assistance available to them.