Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science


Author Michael Lipsky argues that street-level bureaucrats are unresponsive to clients' needs because of five conditions that characterize the bureaucratic setting. These conditions include a chronic lack of resources, an ever-increasing client load, ambiguous or conflicting agency goal expectations, goal measures that encourage impersonal service, and the lack of a client reference group for workers. One purpose of this paper is to determine if the five conditions of work that frame Lipsky's argument in a street-level bureaucracy exist for the Virginia Victim/Witness and Crime Victim Assistance (V /W-CVA) program. Another objective is to evaluate the implications of these conditions for worker alienation and worker altruism. The ultimate aim of the analysis is to test Lipsky's theory concerning the relationship between the conditions and the attitudes of street-level bureaucrats in the Virginia program. The results of a questionnaire completed by ten local program directors of the Virginia Victim/Witness and Crime Victim Assistance program will be presented and analyzed. The study showed that Lipsky's theories concerning increasing client loads, goal expectations and goal measurements were present in the V /W-CVA program, but that those concerning inadequate resources and client reference groups were not present. Conclusions will suggest the possibility of a more diverse typology of street-level service delivery than Lipsky presents.