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NCJ Number: 76001 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Compensating Crime Victims - Hearings on H R 1899 Before the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice on February 28 and April 3, 1979
Corporate Author: US Congress
House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 230
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Congress
Washington, DC 20515
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Hearings conducted by a House of Representatives subcommittee in 1979 examined proposed legislation to give Federal financial assistance to State victim compensation programs if they met certain criteria.
Abstract: Opening statements by sponsors of the Victims of Crime Act identified the major features of the victim compensation programs established by 27 States and presented a section-by-section analysis of the proposed bill. States would be reimbursed for about 50 percent of the compensation paid to vicitms, with the exception of Federal crimes for which 100 percent assistance would be provided. Congressmen from Florida and California concerned with problems of the elderly testified in support of the bill, but felt that property losses should be compensated. They also suggested that emergency funds be established for elderly victims and financial need requirements be eliminated. Studies conducted by the University of Miami on victimization of the elderly were inserted in the record. A representative from the American Bar Association (ABA) strongly supported the bill and noted that victim compensation could increase citizen involvement in combating crime and save money by reducing nonappearances by witnesses at trials. The ABA continued to oppose compensation for property loss. Reasons for State and Federal involvement in victim compensation were reviewed by a Georgetown University law professor. Support for the bill was expressed by a witness from the National Council of Senior Citizens, who emphasized that although victims come disproportionately from socially and economically disadvanteged groups, most programs are designed as if their eligible claimants were educated, middle class people. In reality, only a small minority of eligible victims ever apply for compensation, deterred by complicated procedures and lack of information. His recommendations for legislative revisions included elimination of financial hardship requirements and includion of property losses. The following items were then inserted in the record: a letter supporting the bill from the United States Catholic Conference, an opposition view from a university professor, and statistics from the Congressional Research Service on costs of victim programs and the numbers of violent crimes in 26 States. A Congresman and State Attorney General from North Carolina endorsed the proposed bill and commented that the likelihood of Federal assistance would probably assure the passage of a victim compensation program by the State legislature. The texts of H.R. 1899 and 4257 and a committee report on H.R. 4257 are included. The appendix contains a transcript of the June 1979 proceedings of the ABA's Committee on Victims.
Index Term(s): Crimes against the elderly; Federal aid; Legislation; Victim compensation
Note: Serial no. 79.
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