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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 94515 Find in a Library
Title: Information Impact of Victim Assistance Programs
Author(s): M A Young
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 7
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper outlines the nature of victim programs, the demands for information which they create, and the barriers to generating or communicating such information. The policy recommendations address the implementation and monitoring of a victim-oriented jurisprudence.
Abstract: Victim programs should tend to victim needs in the areas of physical harm, financial loss, and emotional pain. A comprehensive program consists of service stages that meet the sequence of victim needs. The service stages include emergency response, victim stabilization, resource mobilization, after arrest, precourt appearance, court appearance, presentence, and postsentencing. Information is required to provide a better understanding of the victim's needs at the stage of emergency response. Currently, there is little research which helps police and other intervenors identify victims at risk for crisis, foresee emotional reactions, and provide appropriate treatment. Further, information on the availability and quality of social services for victims is lacking in most jurisdictions. Information is also needed to facilitate victim participation in the criminal justice system. Some of the barriers to constructing the adequate system of victim services are (1) the traditional information-system emphasis on the offender, (2) the absence of case cross-filing by victim name so the extent of multiple victimizations can be assessed, (3) failure to provide victim information to would-be service providers, and (4) the absence in many jurisdictions of an information system that tracks case status through completion. Twenty policy recommendations encompass research, the development of a victim-oriented information system, the introduction of victim intimidation statements at bail hearings, and specifics on how victims should be involved at various stages of case processing.
Index Term(s): Data collections; Information Systems and Technology; Victim program evaluation; Victim services; Witness assistance
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