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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 67925 Find in a Library
Title: VIOLENT CRIME LOSSES - THEIR IMPACT ON THE VICTIM AND SOCIETY
Journal: ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE  Volume:443  Dated:(MAY 1979)  Pages:54-62
Author(s): E M MEURER
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 9
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: WHILE SOCIETY HAS FOCUSED MUCH OF ITS ATTENTION IN THE PAST ON THE CRIMINAL, MORE AND MORE STATES ARE COMING TO RECOGNIZE THE NEEDS OF THE VICTIM AND ARE INSTITUTING VICTIM COMPENSATION PROGRAMS.
Abstract: CRIMES OF VIOLENCE HAVE BEEN INCREASING RAPIDLY SINCE 1950, AND THE RIGHTS OF CRIMINALS HAVE BEEN PROTECTED AND INCREASED; YET, THE RIGHTS OF THE VICTIMS OF CRIME HAVE REMAINED RELATIVELY UNCHANGED AND LARGELY INEFFECTIVE IN PROVIDING COMPENSATION FOR LOSSES SUFFERED AS A RESULT OF VIOLENT CRIMES. RESTITUTION FROM THE CRIMINAL CAN ONLY BE SOUGHT IN CIVIL SUITS, WHICH ARE NO GUARANTEE OF INDEMNIFICATION. ONLY 9 PERCENT OF VICTIMS RECEIVE ANY INDEMNIFICATION FOR LOSS FROM PRIVATE INSURANCE SOURCES. MANY VICTIMS CANNOT BENEFIT FROM SOCIAL INSURANCE AS THEY DO NOT FULFILL THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED UNDER THE LAW. PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, ALTHOUGH OFTEN PROVIDING AID TO VIOLENT CRIME VICTIMS, DOES NOT NECESSARILY HELP VICTIMS TO BECOME PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY. AGAINST THIS SETTING, MANY STATES HAVE SEEN FIT TO ENACT VICTIM COMPENSATION PROGRAMS WHICH ONLY INDEMNIFY LOSSES RESULTING FROM MEDICAL EXPENSES OR LOSS OF EARNINGS. THEY DO NOT COVER INTANGIBLE PERSONAL LOSSES OR PROPERTY LOSSES. WHILE FAR FROM A PERFECT SOLUTION, THESE LAWS EMPHASIZE THE CHANGING ATTITUDE OF SOCIETY TOWARD THE VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIME. BENEFITS TO SOCIETY FROM SUCH COMPENSATION PROGRAMS WILL INCLUDE REHABILITATION FOR THE VICTIM, REDUCING CRIME THROUGH THE PROMPT REPORTING OF CRIMES BY VICTIMS, AND INCREASING PUBLIC AWARENESS OF THE COST OF VIOLENT CRIME. MOREOVER, WHEN VICTIMS ARE FAIRLY TREATED BY SOCIETY, THEY ARE MORE WILLING TO COOPERATE WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS. NO REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Restitution; Victim compensation; Violent crimes; Welfare services
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67925

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