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NCJ Number: 141652 Find in a Library
Author(s): R J McCormack
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
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Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reports on the methodology and results of a 1990 survey of the coordinators of the 21 New Jersey county offices of the State Office of Victim/Witness Advocacy to determine the comparative level of services given victims of violent crime whose cases are not cleared by arrest and those violent-crime victims whose cases are initially classified as felonies and then later "downgraded" to misdemeanors and remanded to municipal courts.
Abstract: There were 47,050 violent crimes reported in New Jersey in 1989, of which 20,702 (44 percent) were cleared by arrest. The survey found that the vast majority of the 26,000 remaining victims whose cases were not cleared received little, if any, services from the Victim/Witness Assistance Programs in the county prosecutors offices throughout the State. The survey did not contain data on the number of cases remanded to municipal court due to downgrading from a felony classification. They would normally include a significant number of the 20,000 or so cases cleared by the police, since downgrading of charges for a range of violent crimes such as robbery and felonious assault (including many domestic dispute and child abuse cases) is customary. The survey indicates that their exclusion from services provided by Victim/Witness Advocacy Program coordinators is a major defect in the crime victim assistance system. Typically, violent-crime victims whose cases are not cleared by arrest are given perfunctory aid by the police at the time of the offense; and if injured, they are referred to other short-term service providers, such as hospital emergency room personnel, for treatment. They do not benefit from the more indepth assistance afforded by prosecutor-based Victim/Witness Assistance Programs. Victims whose cases are downgraded from felonies to misdemeanors and thus handled by municipal courts are also underserved, since victim/witness services are largely missing at the municipal court level. 1 table and a 4-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): New Jersey; Victims of violent crime
Note: Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology at New Orleans, La., November 1992.
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