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NCJ Number: 72734 Find in a Library
Title: Compensation for Victims (From Verbrechensopfer, P 379-395, 1979, Gerd Ferdinand Kirchhoff and Klaus Sessar, ed. - See NCJ-72716)
Author(s): H Jung
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 17
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: Fundamental legal theory, models, and problems of victim compensation are outlined.
Abstract: Arguments in favor of victim compensation include the contentions that the state has failed to guarantee citizens' safety adequately, that victim compensation is a simple extension of the welfare state, that reparations improve citizens' willingness to cooperate in crime prevention and control, and that public funds should not be used for offender rehabilitation alone. Although any number of legal reasons may thus be given by various states in support of victim compensation, a sense of state responsibility for victims and discontentment with excessively offender-oriented criminal policy are the basic motives. Victim compensation systems, which exist in a number of Anglo-Saxon and European countries, fall into two major types--the compensation fund and welfare law. The British Injuries Compensation Scheme is an example of the first type. Under this plan, compensation has no statutory basis and takes the form of lump sum payment. Requests for compensation are submitted to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for approval. Similar systems have been adopted in Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Denmark, and France. In contrast, the compensation system of the German Federal Republic is based on special social welfare legislation. Compensation may consist of a pension, medical treatment, or occupational rehabilitation. Social welfare authorities decide on compensation; the number of compensation approvals is considerably lower than in the English system. Austria has adopted a similar system. Special problems of compensation relate to definition of offenses for which compensation is justified, establishment of upper limits for compensation amounts, and types of situations exempted from compensation. Other alternatives under consideration are contribution to compensation by offenders and private insurance programs. Expansion of existing victim compensation programs is recommended, even though they do not reduce crime rates. Notes and a 23-item bibliography are supplied.
Index Term(s): Germany; Japan; Laws and Statutes; Restitution; Restitution programs; Theory; Victimization; Victimology
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