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.
Toll Free Number:1-800-247-8035Available Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Learn about how OVS is structured:OVS Organizational Chart
John Watson, Acting Director and 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.
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.
Melinda Williams, Deputy Director of Operations and Program Development
Melinda Williams serves as Deputy Director of Operations and Program Development. In this role, she oversees the Administrative Services Unit, Grants Unit, and Training & Outreach Unit and is responsible for federal grant management, finance and budget functions, procurement, contract management, and labor relations for the agency. Prior to joining OVS in 2020, Melinda worked for state Division of the Budget. She has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy in Albany.
Kristi Kilmartin, Associate Deputy Director of Operations
Kristi Kilmartin serves as Associate Deputy Director of Operations. In this role, she oversees the Administrative Services Unit and the Grants Unit, and is responsible for federal grant management, finance and budget functions, procurement, contract management, and labor relations for the agency. Prior to joining OVS in 2024, Kristi worked for the State Office of Mental Health. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Sage College of Albany.
Cristin Connor, Administrative Services Unit Chief
Cristin Connor serves as Administrative Services Unit Chief. In this role, Cristin oversees the day-to-day operations of the unit, which is responsible for the financial management, procurement and purchasing services for the agency. Prior to joining OVS in 2021, she worked at the state Department of Health. Cristin has a master’s degree in public administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cross stitch and CrossFit.
Kathleen Joslin, Grants Unit Chief
Kathleen Joslin serves as the Grants Unit Chief. In this role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the unit, which is responsible for the administration of federal and state funds to organizations serving victims of crime. Kathy has been with OVS since 2012, starting as the Phone Representative in the Compensation Unit before moving to the Grants Unit as a Contract Management Specialist. She has master’s degree in forensic mental health from The Sage Colleges.
Blake Kush, Training & Outreach Unit Chief
Blake Kush serves as the Training & Outreach Unit Chief. In this role, he oversees the day-to-day operations of the unit, which is responsible for building the capacity of victim assistance programs to better serve victims of crime. Prior to joining OVS in 2016, Blake worked in many management roles in the nonprofit sector. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Siena College and a master’s degree in MACRO Social Work from the University at Albany.
Tana Orologio, Compensation Unit Chief
Tana Orologio serves as the Compensation Unit Chief. In this role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the unit, which is located in the Albany and Brooklyn offices and is responsible for providing a financial safety net to eligible victims of crime. Tana has been with OVS since 2005 and has worked in all areas of the Compensation Unit, including claim investigations and payment of medical bills. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and visiting Cape Cod.
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.