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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157011 Find in a Library
Title: Victims Court Assistance: An Evaluation of the Pilot Scheme
Author(s): A Church; K Lang; J Leigh; P T W A Young; A Gray; N Edgar
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 251
Sponsoring Agency: New Zealand Dept of Justice
Wellington, New Zealand
Publication Number: ISBN 0-477-07684-X
Sale Source: New Zealand Dept of Justice
Private Box 180
New Zealand
Type: Program/Project Description
Language: English
Country: New Zealand
Annotation: This document evaluates the New Zealand Victims Court Assistance pilot program designed to assist victims to participate in the justice system and to keep them informed while their cases are progressing through the court. A parallel study of the effectiveness of the program for Maori victims was also conducted.
Abstract: As part of the program, six Victims Court Assistants (VCAs) were employed in four courts around the country. The VCAs, in addition to their central role of providing information, provided emotional support to their clients during the court process. They assisted their clients to participate in bail decisions and sentencing, facilitated the safety and protection of victims at court, and supported victims as witnesses. The VCAs represented the needs of their clients with other agencies within the system, and assisted the courts by handling victims' enquiries and by providing information on victims' circumstances when requested by judges. A high level of satisfaction with the program was recorded among both clients and the agencies which worked with the VCAs in the system. On the whole, VCA clients in the pilot areas were better informed and more satisfied with their experience of the court process than victims in comparison areas. The program could be improved by the addition of: (1) local consultation; (2) a founding document; (3) an effective referral system; (4) promotion of the scheme; (5) training for the VCAs; and (6) adequate resourcing. The report includes recommendations for the future implementation, operation, and management of a nationwide program, and for improved effectiveness of the program for Maori. Tables, figures, glossary, references, appendixes
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Court reorganization; Court-sponsored victim services; Courts; Decentralization; Foreign criminal justice systems; Maoris; Model programs; New Zealand; Victims in foreign countries
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