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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 92844 Find in a Library
Title: Arson Victims - Suggestions for a System Response
Corporate Author: American Bar Assoc
Criminal Justice Section
United States of America
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Assoc
Washington, DC 20005-1009
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Fire Admin (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Grant Number: EMW-G-0872
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These suggestions for constructive interaction with and services to arson victims pertain to the crime scene, the investigation, the arrest and pretrial stages, the trial, sentencing, and policy review.
Abstract: Once the immediate danger from the fire is under control and emergency law enforcement needs are met, previously-designated officials at the crime scene should attend to the victim's immediate well-being, elicit immediate victim cooperation, and lay the groundwork for future cooperation. During the investigation, the primary investigative agency should be in touch with the arson victims to (1) verify information obtained at the crime scene, (2) ascertain whether the victim has additional information helpful to the investigation, (3) determine if the victim has been intimidated and if so take steps to eliminate it, and (4) ensure that the victim continues to make his/her residence location known to the investigative agency. Any victim service agency should take the initiative in contacting the victim as soon after the incident as possible. In the arrest and pretrial stages, the victim should be kept informed of any official action and decisionmaking, and every effort should be made to facilitate the victim's involvement at appropriate times, notably on the occasion of any plea negotiations. Victims who testify as witnesses at the trial should continue to be accorded all the courtesies received during the pretrial stage, either by the prosecutor's victim/witness assistance project or by an independent assistance agency. Whether or not victims have participated as witnesses at the trial, their concerns, losses, and needs should be factors in the sentencing decision. This stage is particularly crucial for uninsured arson victims, as the potential for restitution may be their only hope of obtaining even partial relief for losses.
Index Term(s): Arson; Arson investigations; Victim services
Note: Victim Witness Assistance Project
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