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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98291 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Justice Response to Victim Harm
Author(s): J C Hernon; B Forst
Corporate Author: INSLAW
United States of America
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 188
Sponsoring Agency: INSLAW
Washington, DC 20005
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 82-IJ-CX-0009
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
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The underlying purpose of the report is to study the attitude that victims are due certain rights and considerations in the prosecution and adjudication process, even though under the United States system of jurisprudence the State, not the victim, is the prosecuting party.
Abstract: Data were gathered from interviews with victims, police officers, prosecutors, and judges in eight jurisdictions. Site selection was based on population size and a variety of the types of victim services offered. The eight sites were Essex County (Salem), Mass.; Baltimore County, Md.; the 13th Judicial Circuit (Greenville), S.C.; Orleans Parish (New Orleans), La.; Jackson County (Kansas City), Mo.; Hennepin County (Minneapolis), Minn.; Santa Clara County (San Jose), Calif.; and Multnomah County (Portland), Oreg. The findings from interviews with judges, prosecutors, and police officers confirm a number of previous findings. Among these are that victim harm may affect the police officer's decision to investigate the case, but it has little effect on the decision to arrest; evidence is the most important factor in the decision to accept the case for prosecution; and the type of conviction and the defendant's prior record are the primary expressed considerations for sentencing. The methods by which practitioners learn about victim harm, together with standard court procedures and practices, tend to increasingly insulate the practitioner from the victim as the case progresses through adjudication. Findings from a survey of victims reveal that victims expressed more satisfaction and a more favorable attitude toward the system if they had knowledge of case outcome and perceived themselves to have influenced the outcome. It has been found that victims in sites with active, full service, prosecutor-based victim-witness programs reported higher levels of satisfaction than those in sites without such programs. A second volume presents questionnaires used to conduct a survey of individuals who had been affected by crime. The questionnaire focuses on circumstances of the crime, reactions of victims, and responses concerning interaction with the police and the criminal justice system. Questionnaires used to evaluate the responses of police officers, prosecutors, and judges are also included. Appendixes give technical data and demographic characteristics of the study sites. Tabular data and 52 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Criminal justice system effectiveness; Demography; Victimization models; Victimology
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