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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 66366 Find in a Library
Title: SOMETHING CAN AND MUST BE DONE - THE NEGLECTED PROBLEM OF WITNESS INTIMIDATION
Journal: JUDGES' JOURNAL  Volume:18  Issue:4  Dated:(FALL 1979)  Pages:20-24
Author(s): E E YOUNGER
Corporate Author: American Bar Association
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Association
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE ASSESSES THE PROBLEM OF VICTIM INTIMIDATION AND REVIEWS THE EFFORTS OF THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION'S (ABA'S) COMMITTEE ON VICTIMS TO BRING THE ISSUE TO PUBLIC ATTENTION AND IMPLEMENT ASSISTANCE MEASURES.
Abstract: SHORTLY AFTER ITS ESTABLISHMENT, THE ABA COMMITTEE HELD PUBLIC HEARINGS ON VICTIMIZATION, WHICH CLARIFIED THE PROBLEM AND PRODUCED MANY VIABLE SUGGESTIONS ON COMBATING IT. INTIMIDATION CAN BE SUBDIVIDED INTO THREE TYPES: THREATS AND VIOLENCE, CULTURAL INTIMIDATION, AND 'PERCEIVED' INTIMIDATION, WHICH IS THE MOST COMMON. 'FEELING ALONE' IS OFTEN EXPERIENCED BY VICTIMS OF SERIOUS PHYSICAL CRIMES, AN ELEMENT WHICH GREATLY EXACERBATES THE PERCEPTION OF INTIMIDATION. THERE IS A NEED FOR VICTIM ADVOCATES TO SEE THAT THE INTERESTS AND NEEDS OF THE VICTIM ARE LOOKED AFTER PSYCHOLOGICALLY, LEGALLY, AND ECONOMICALLY. ORGANIZATIONALLY, SUCH A POSITION SHOULD BE HOUSED WITH THE PROSECUTOR'S OFFICES, BUT THE FINANCIAL LIMITATIONS OF MOST LOCAL JURISDICTIONS PRECLUDE SUCH AN ARRANGEMENT. VICTIM INTIMIDATION IS WIDESPREAD, REMAINS HIDDEN FROM PUBLIC AND OFFICIAL ATTENTION, BUT CAN BE EFFECTIVELY DEALT WITH BY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS. VICTIMS NEED INFORMATION ON THE INTIMIDATING OFFENDER'S CASE PROGRESS THROUGH ARREST AND COURT PROCEEDINGS BECAUSE THESE ARE FREQUENTLY PERCEIVED BY THEM AS LIFE AND DEATH MATTERS. VOLUNTEERS COULD EASILY BE PREPARED FOR SUCH SERVICE WITH A MINIMUM OF TRAINING AND SUPERVISION. A SECOND FORM OF PRIVATE SECTOR INVOLVEMENT IS THE 'FRIEND IN COURT' SYSTEM IN WHICH A REASONABLY INFORMED INDIVIDUAL ACCOMPANIES THE VICTIM OR KEY WITNESS THROUGH THE PROCESS. A COMMUNITY HOTLINE IS A THIRD SERVICE THAT PRIVATE VOLUNTEERS COULD PERFORM TO LESSEN THE TRAUMAS OF VICTIMIZATION. THE LEADERSHIP AND PRESTIGE OF JUDGES IN MOST COMMUNITIES IS CONSIDERABLE, AND INDICATIONS OF JUDICIAL SUPPORT FOR VICTIMIZATION VOLUNTEER SERVICES COULD PROVIDE THE IMPETUS FOR SUCH PROGRAMS. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): American Bar Association (ABA); Community involvement; Victim-witness intimidation; Victimization; Volunteer programs; Witness assistance
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66366

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