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NCJ Number: 98633 Find in a Library
Title: Child Abuse and Criminal Process - Dilemmas in Punishment and Protection (From Child Abuse, P 77-92, 1984, A Carmi and H Zimrin, ed.)
Author(s): B M Dickens
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Springer-Verlag
Secaucus, NJ 07094
Sale Source: Springer-Verlag
44 Hartz Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094
United States of America
Language: English
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: This article compares the potential benefits and disadvantages of criminal and civil proceedings against parental child abusers and advises a sensitive selection of cases for criminal proceedings and the appropriate use of the legal system's resources to serve the interests of abused children.
Abstract: The discussion identifies the harmful aspects of criminal proceedings for the child victim as well as the difficulty of obtaining convictions under the demanding burden of proof required in criminal cases. Civil welfare proceedings, having a less demanding burden of proof than criminal proceedings, facilitate the obtaining of protective orders. Criminal proceedings are noted to play a role in child abuse cases, particularly in affirming the seriousness of child abuse and in ensuring the community that important values are being upheld. In order to be most helpful to the child, however, the coordination of criminal with civil proceedings is advised for some cases. The discussion mentions basing sentencing on the outcome of the protection hearing. For example, if children are removed from an offender's charge in the civil case, the sentencing judge might reason that the child victim's interests would not be harmed by a custodial sentence. In any event, the author reasons that criminal and civil proceedings in the same case should not be at cross purposes in the remedies proposed. Imaginative and adequately serviced criminal diversion programs for abusive parents are recommended. Advice is provided for attorneys who represent the child's interest in civil proceedings. Twenty-seven references and 41 footnotes are listed.
Index Term(s): Abusing parents; Child abuse; Child abuse situation remedies; Civil proceedings; Criminal proceedings
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