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NCJ Number: NCJ 238802     Find in a Library
Title: Courting Compassion: Victims, Policy, and the Question of Justice
Author(s): Sandra Walklate
  Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:51  Issue:2  Dated:May 2012  Pages:109 to 121
Date Published: 05/2012
Page Count: 13
  Annotation: This policy assessment reviews the relative success and failure of British efforts to reorient the criminal justice system in order to achieve a balance between defendant/offender rights and victim rights.
Abstract: The review is presented in four parts. It first presents a brief overview of victim-oriented policy over the last decade, with attention to core policies and legislation intended to promote victim-oriented criminal justice practices. The second part of the article considers what is known to date about the effectiveness of interventions derived from these policies. The third section focuses on what the author calls “courting compassion” for crime victims and the extent to which this has been expressed as a justification for policy reforms. The article concludes with an examination of the implications this has for conceptions of justice, and for whom, by reference to what the author considers the politics of compassion. The author draws three conclusions. First, much of the policy considered in this article only addresses some of the concerns expressed by the 3 percent of victims who become involved with the criminal justice process beyond their contacts with the police. Third, “courting compassion” for crime victims as a political tactic most often promises harsher sentencing for offenders without regard to constructive and fair correctional policies. Third, the focus on compassion understood as a focus on the need of individual crime victims fails to have the broader perspective that the unjust suffering of all members of a society, including offenders, must be embraced in a justice system oriented toward compassion. 56 references
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): Political influences ; Criminal justice system reform ; Foreign criminal justice systems ; Foreign criminal justice personnel
Publisher URL: 
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
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