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NCJRS Abstract

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  NCJ Number: NCJ 242564     Find in a Library
  Title: Voices From the Field: California Victims’ Rights in A Post-Realignment World
  Document URL: HTML 
  Author(s): Jessica Spencer ; Joan Petersilia
  Journal: Federal Sentencing Reporter  Volume:25  Issue:4  Dated:April 2013  Pages:226 to 232
  Date Published: 04/2013
  Page Count: 7
  Annotation: This paper seeks to fill a gap in California’s recent Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011 (Realignment) by proposing recommendations for the State’s response to the needs of crime victims.
  Abstract: As it currently stands, several of crime victims’ most important rights in the California Constitution are being ignored in the implementation of the Realignment; however, if victims are invited to the table and afforded the respect due to constitutional stakeholders, the problems victims currently face can be remedied. Otherwise, there is a significant risk of future litigation under Marsy’s Law challenging the effects of Realignment. This report reviews substantive victims’ rights in California. This is followed by an overview of the fundamentals of Realignment, which focuses on alleviating overcrowding in California’s State prison system. Under this focus, victim advocates were largely excluded from negotiations, despite their efforts to have their voice heard. The current article addresses the problems caused by Realignment in the areas of victim restitution, victim notification, and Realignment’s impact on public safety. This is followed by suggestions for improvement. The latter pertain to giving victims a voting voice, establishing who is responsible for various victim services, creating a county-wide notification system for victims, consideration of an offender’s entire criminal history, and no straight sentences for offenders with restitution orders. The article also suggests that county jails be required to have work programs and garnish wages. The primary data source for the current article is a series of interviews conducted between October and December of 2012, when staff from the Stanford Criminal Justice Center interviewed victim service coordinators from several counties of varying sizes, resources, and demographics. 69 notes
  Main Term(s): Victims rights
  Index Term(s): Law reform ; Victim services ; Intergovernmental relations ; Criminal justice system reform ; Victim Services Notification ; California
  Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
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