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NCJ Number: 64518 Find in a Library
Title: INVISIBLE VICTIM - THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM'S FORGOTTEN RESPONSIBILITY
Author(s): R REIFF
Corporate Author: Basic Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 235
Sponsoring Agency: Basic Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Basic Books
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A PSYCHOLOGIST CONTENDS THAT CRIME VICTIMS ARE DENIED AN EQUAL SHARE OF JUSTICE; THEY ARE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BY THE POLICE, THE COURTS, THE LEGAL PROFESSION, AND THE SOCIAL SERVICE SYSTEMS.
Abstract: HE ARGUES THAT SOCIAL JUSTICE REQUIRES SOCIETY TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAKING THE VICTIM WHOLE AGAIN. EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, MEDICAL CARE, AND LEGAL SERVICES ARE THE RIGHTS OF EVERY VICTIM AND THE MORAL OBLIGATION OF SOCIETY. FURTHER, FBI CRIME STATISTICS REPORTS FAIL TO ACCURATELY REFLECT THE EXTENT OF CRIME IN THE NATION AND THE FAILURE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO BRING JUSTICE TO THE 3 TO 5 MILLION VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIME. LEAA VICTIMIZATION STUDIES INDICATE THE NUMBER OF VICTIMS TO BE AT LEAST DOUBLE THAT REPORTED BY THE FBI, BUT THE SURVEYS ARE STILL INADEQUATE FOR THE SOCIAL EVALUATION OF THE VICTIM PROBLEM. THE FIRST VICTIM STUDY ATTEMPTING TO GATHER INFORMATION ABOUT VICTIMS BY ACTUALLY OPERATING A SERVICE FOR THEM WAS UNDERTAKEN BY THE CENTER OF THE STUDY FOR SOCIAL INTERVENTION IN 1973. IT FOUND THAT THE GREATEST NEED OF VICTIMS IS FOR IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL AID, FOLLOWED BY PHYSICAL HEALTH CARE, (INCLUDING EMOTIONAL CARE) AND LEGAL ASSISTANCE. POLICE DISCRETION OFTEN IGNORES THE RIGHT OF THE VICTIM TO ACCESS TO JUSTICE. COURT DELAYS AND PLEA BARGAINING ARE FURTHER EXAMPLES OF POSTCRIME VICTIMIZATION. MOREOVER, CRIMINAL LAWYERS DISCREDIT AND HUMILIATE THE VICTIM-WITNESS IN THEIR DEFENSE STRATEGIES. FINALLY, VICTIMS SUFFER FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE 'INDIFFERENCE' OF SOCIAL AGENCIES AND THEIR BUREAUCRATIC COMPLICATIONS. TO RECTIFY THESE WRONGS, A NINE-POINT VICTIMS' BILL OF RIGHTS IS FORMULATED, INCLUDING PROVISIONS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AND BASIC CHANGES IN THE VARIOUS COMPONENTS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND HUMAN SERVICE SYSTEMS TO IMPLEMENT THESE RIGHTS. A NATIONWIDE COMPENSATION PROGRAM MUST BE ESTABLISHED TO MAKE VICTIMS WHOLE AGAIN. FURTHERMORE, A DISASTER-AID PROGRAM IS NEEDED TO REHABILITATE NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMMUNITIES DESTROYED BY CRIME, AND VICTIMS' ADVOCATES MUST DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF VICTIMS AT COURT. TABULAR DATA, CHARTS, NOTES, AND AN INDEX ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Attorneys; Court delays; Crime Statistics; Crimes against persons; Criminal Justice System Response to Victims; Discrimination; Police attitudes; Police discretion; Restitution; Studies; Unreported crimes; Victim compensation; Victim medical assistance; Victim-offender relationships; Victimology; Victims rights
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64518

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