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NCJ Number: 222639 Find in a Library
Title: Victim Rights and New Remedies: Finally Getting Victims Their Due
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:24  Issue:2  Dated:May 2008  Pages:198-208
Author(s): Robert C. Davis; Carrie Mulford
Date Published: May 2008
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the history of victim rights legislation on and efforts to increase compliance of criminal justice agencies charged with aiding victims in the exercise of their rights.
Abstract: In the last two decades, State legislatures have greatly expanded the legal rights of crime victims. Victims have some rights under the law in all States, ranging from the right to be notified of court and parole hearings, to the right to be present and express opinions at sentencing hearings, the right to be consulted about plea agreements, the right to compensation and restitution, and the right to a speedy trial. The process of securing rights for crime victims has been long and uneven. Federal and State government efforts to pass legislation providing rights to crime victims helped to give victims greater involvement in criminal cases. However, legislation was not enough to guarantee victims’ rights in the process. It soon became clear that those charged with assisting victims to exercise their rights were not always complying with statutes and that there was little recourse when they did not. To ensure that victims received rights in practice, new approaches were adopted. Constitutional amendments were efforts to make victim rights fundamental and more enforceable. Compliance programs and victim rights clinics are more recent initiatives designed to improve compliance with victim rights statutes. These programs ensure that more victims are able to exercise their rights through training of criminal justice officials, representation of victims in individual cases, and filing complaints against agencies or individuals who deny victims their rights. Current evaluations will examine the extent to which the clinics are making the exercise of victim rights more universally accepted. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Victims rights
Index Term(s): Criminal Justice System Response to Victims; Legal aid services; Legislation; Victims of Crime
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