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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149843 Find in a Library
Title: National Survey of State Crime Victim Compensation Programs
Author(s): S K Sarnoff
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 301
Sponsoring Agency: UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This exploratory, state-of-the-art study sought to determine the extent to which selected characteristics of State crime victim compensation programs (CVCP's) in the United States affect the rates at which they compensate victims.
Abstract: Victims' needs and the history and rationales of victim compensation are discussed in the context of the United States' high crime rate, lack of universal health care, and limited alternatives to compensation, such as restitution, public and private insurances, and civil litigation. The theory that government owes victims recompense for crimes it has not prevented is contrasted with the fact that States have been moving away from this obligation by increasingly funding CVCP's through offender fines rather than general revenues. Since 1984, Federal matching funds have extended CVCP benefits and established minimum standards, but CVCP's continue to differ markedly in resources, auspices, philosophies, claims procedures, benefits, and eligibility factors. This study quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed secondary data from Federal and State program documents. Findings show that the size of average awards were inversely related to compensation rates; CVCP's in the Western Census Region compensated the highest proportion of victims; CVCP's in the Southern Census Region used the highest proportion of "fault" grounds for denials; early CVCP's provided the highest rates of wage compensation, and the most recent CVCP's took the longest time to process claims. Models of current and potential CVCP operation were also obtained from the findings. Based on the findings recommendations are offered for the criminal justice system and crime, and implications are drawn for social work and other helping professions. Suggestions for additional research are provided. 23 tables and a 324-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Victim compensation
Index Term(s): Crime costs; Victim services
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