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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 211795 
Title: Improving Confidence in Criminal Justice: Achieving Community Justice for Victims and Witnesses (From Community Justice: Issues for Probation and Criminal Justice, P 237-256, 2005, Jane Winstone and Francis Pakes, eds. -- See NCJ-211782)
Author(s): Jacki Tapley
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In addition to describing reforms in Great Britain that have enhanced the involvement of and focus on crime victims in criminal justice procedures, this chapter explores the meaning of community justice from a victim's perspective.
Abstract: The relatively recent focus on the needs of and services for crime victims is due largely to well-organized groups established to assist or campaign on behalf of crime victims. Such groups have spearheaded what has been called the "victims' movement." The shift of focus from offenders to victims was further fueled by a simultaneous mistrust of the effectiveness of interventions with offenders, such that priorities were transferred from treating the offender to remedying the harms the offender caused the victim while holding the offender accountable. Research on victims' experiences due to the crimes against them and the subsequent criminal justice processing further emphasized the importance of focusing resources and services on crime victims. Addressing the needs of victims and witnesses is now routinely recognized as a central objective of the criminal justice system in the United Kingdom. This chapter describes specific policy and legislative efforts in this regard. Recent research, however, has indicated that despite a battery of initiatives for improving the services offered to crime victims, they still feel unsupported and alienated by criminal justice processing. In order to ensure that community justice is achieved from a victim's perspective, an improved criminal justice response is required, supported by sufficient resources and provided by a range of agencies within the criminal justice system and the wider community. Although the necessary statutory framework outlines agencies' responsibilities to crime victims and witnesses, a significant change is required in the professional cultures of criminal justice personnel. This requires continual monitoring and evaluation. 78 references
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): Great Britain/United Kingdom; Victim program evaluation; Victim program implementation; Victim-witness legislation; Victim-witness programs; Victims of Crime; Victims rights
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