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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72720 Find in a Library
Title: Victimology - Research on Victims (From Verbrechensopfer, P 85-92, 1979, Gerd Ferdinand Kirchhoff and Klaus Sessar, ed. - See NCJ-72716)
Author(s): E C vonViano
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Studienverlag Dr N Brockmeyer
Bochum, Germany United
Sale Source: Studienverlag Dr N Brockmeyer
Viktoriastrasse 1-3
Germany (Unified)
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: A general discussion portrays the development of victimology as a separate area of criminological study.
Abstract: Not until the mid-forties did criminologists point out the importance of the victim for better understanding of crimes. The shift of emphasis to the victim has also influenced policy: in New Zealand, England, and certain parts of the United States victim compensation laws were passed in the sixties. Steps have been taken to reduce the inconvenience and side effects to which victims are subjected. Citizen reporting, victim services, and witness-victim coordination centers have been established by the public prosecutors' offices. Victims participate in prosecutor plea bargaining with offenders and are informed by police of the case's progress. Ombudsman positions and various types of victim crisis intervention centers have been instituted. The importance of victimology as a research area was signaled by a series of international symposia, foundation of the Advanced Study Institute on Victimology in Bellagio, and the institution of U.S. National Crime Surveys. Measures to improve victim treatment encourage consideration for victim-witnesses' emotional, financial, and social needs, and encouragement of victim-witnesses to cooperate with police and prosecutors. Victim services should cover public education about self-defense techniques, victim counseling, witness assistance (e.g., information about participation in and status of the case, transportation, babysitting), and return of property or financial restitution. An international multidisciplinary forum for information and idea exchange is furnished by the journal 'Victimology-An International Journal.' Practical information is available through the International Resource Center and Clearinghouse in Washington, D.C., which also publishes a journal and provides a telephone information service. Victimology is also gaining ground as a subject in university curricula for law enforcement. Future objectives of the field are improvement of penal system efficiency, of services to victims, and of victim willingness to cooperate, as well as expansion of the agencies responsible for victimology projects. A 12-item bibliography and notes are supplied.
Index Term(s): Operations research; Victimization; Victimology
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