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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73674 Find in a Library
Title: Victim/Witness Assistance Programs (From Forgotten Victims - An Advocate's Anthology, P 203-214, George Nicholson et al., ed. - See NCJ-41467)
Author(s): J A Stookey; B Pines; H A Janssen
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Veterans Admin
Washington, DC 20420
Sale Source: Veterans Admin
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The criminal justice system's neglect of the victims of crimes is discussed and various victim service programs are described, with attention given to some of California's victim programs.
Abstract: The criminal justice system has traditionally focused on providing due process for the accused, while victims' needs have been largely ignored. Should the criminal justice system lose the confidence and support of the public as represented by crime victims, the system will only become further alienated from the public it is mandated to serve. The criminal justice system should assume the leadershp in providing such victim services as restitution, compensation, victim/witness services, and counseling oriented toward relieving the psychological impact of victimization. Losses sustained by a crime victim should be relieved by the state through compensation if the offender is unable to provide restitution. California has such a compensation program, but it places the victim in an adversarial position with respect to the State, because victims must prove their entitlements to compensation on the basis of need aggravated by the crimes. The approach places the victim in a position similar to an applicant for welfare. In another area of victim services, the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office has established a Friends in Court program that provides information and assistance to crime victims. Volunteers provide general information to victims regarding their cases and the services available to them. Alameda County, Calif., has a Victim-Witmess Bureau that has responsibility for advocating and providing a comprehensive battery of victim services covering all phases of victim needs. Figures and footnotes which include references are included.
Index Term(s): California; Criminal Justice System Response to Victims; Prosecutor-victim interaction; Victim compensation; Victim-witness programs; Victim/Witness Advocates; Volunteers; Witness assistance
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