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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 150166 Find in a Library
Title: Government Whistleblowers: Crime's Hidden Victims
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:63  Issue:7  Dated:(July 1994)  Pages:17-21
Author(s): C A Botsko; R C Wells
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the dynamics of "whistleblower" emotional reactions to the offenses they have witnessed and the subsequent government investigation; ways to provide support and assistance for whistleblowers are designed to increase their effectiveness as witnesses.
Abstract: Whistleblowers have reactions to their situation similar to the reactions of crime victims. There are three stages in whistleblower reactions: impact, recoil, and reorganization. The impact stage is characterized by disbelief, disorientation, disorganization, feelings of vulnerability, suggestibility, and difficulty in recalling details. For whistleblowers, the impact stage begins when they report the crime and can last up to 72 hours. In the recoil stage, whistleblowers commonly exhibit intense anger, resentment, extreme shame, or guilt, as well as phobic reactions to details of the crime, particular places, times of day, and kinds of people. During the reorganization stage, feelings of fear and rage slowly diminish as the victim thinks and talks less about the crime. Whistleblowers will be unable to achieve this stage of resolution while the criminal case is pending. To overcome barriers such as anger and fear and to collect and preserve the most accurate testimony possible from government whistleblowers, investigators should focus on informers' emotional agendas. Investigators must also remember that good information is best preserved by keeping the source of that information informed. In the final analysis, a whistleblower who knows what to expect from the investigative and judicial process is more likely to be an effective and credible witness. 2 notes
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): Corruption of public officials; Secondary victimization; Whistleblowers; White collar crime; Witness assistance; Witness Reactions to the Criminal Justice System
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