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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134791 Find in a Library
Title: Victim in Court Project at the Crown Court at Wood Green
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:30  Issue:4  Dated:(November 1991)  Pages:301-310
Author(s): P Rock
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 10
Type: Program Description (Demonstrative)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: In January 1990, Victim Support, the National Organization of Victims Support Schemes, initiated a program of demonstration projects to assist prosecution witnesses in seven Crown Courts in England and Wales; this article focuses on the special experiences and position of prosecution witnesses at one such Crown Court.
Abstract: The court at Wood Green was selected for this study, in part because it is located in an ethnically heterogeneous area of London; one aim of the project was to include black and Asian victims and volunteers in any evaluation of the program. The project was approved at the beginning of 1990 and began operations in April of that year. Its aim was to assist, befriend, and advise prosecution witnesses and victims. The population of recruits for the program consisted of elderly, retired, middle-class females. Training of the recruits consisted of information on the processes and practitioners of the criminal justice system. Six volunteers staffed the project throughout its early period. Volunteers did not contact witnesses before they came to court, and they had no involvement with witnesses as they testified and were cross-examined in court. Neither could they offer much in the aftermath of the court appearance, since witnesses typically wished to leave the court facilities immediately. The primary role of the volunteers was to offer companionship and information as the witnesses waited outside the courtroom prior to their testimony. This proved to be a helpful service, since witnesses could experience continual delays as trials failed to start punctually, were adjourned, or were prolonged by unforeseen and lengthy deliberations on evidence issues. 7 notes and 10 references
Main Term(s): Victim-witness programs
Index Term(s): Foreign courts; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Volunteer training
Note: Based on a paper delivered at the second annual conference of the Canadian Organization for Victim Assistance, Mississauga, Ontario, September 1990.
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