skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 167373 Find in a Library
Title: Victim Participation in the Criminal Justice System (From Victims of Crime, P 231-244, 1997, Robert C. Davis, Arthur J. Lurigio, et al., eds. - See NCJ-167360)
Author(s): D P Kelly; E Erez
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Legislative reforms to increase victim participation in the criminal justice system are examined with respect to their background, content, legal challenges, arguments for and against victim participation, and probable future developments.
Abstract: Efforts of feminists and law-and-order groups led in the 1970's to new procedures to make the criminal justice system more sensitive to victims' concerns. The 1982 recommendations of the President's Task Force on the Victims of Crime led to widespread adoption of reforms giving victims the right to participate in judicial proceedings. These reforms prompted legal challenges from defendants. Proponents of victim participation present both moral and penological arguments. Opponents of victims' participating in any capacity other than as a witness argue that retribution will result, that the system will be impeded, that prosecutors' control over cases will be lost, and that other problems are involved. The available research suggests that victim participation does not cause delays or additional expense to the system, does not necessarily result in more harsh punishments, and may or may not result in increased satisfaction with the judicial system. In addition, most victims are unaware of the reforms and never benefit from them. Nevertheless, many in the legal community and the social sciences continue to regard victim participation with skepticism. It is likely that victims will remain in their current position, hoping for sympathetic responses and information on their rights but more likely to remain ignorant of these rights. Notes and 75 references
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): Criminal Justice System Response to Victims; Law reform; Victim attitudes; Victim impact statements; Victim reactions to the Criminal Justice System; Victims rights
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.