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NCJ Number: 99113 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Collaboration With Victim-Witness Assistance Programs - Payoffs and Concerns for Prosecutors
Journal: The Prosecutor  Volume:18  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter 1985)  Pages:27-36
Author(s): P Finn; B Lee
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
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
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: On the basis of a larger study of 25 victim-witness programs, this article discusses services provided, their benefits, and the efficacy of collaboration between the prosecutor's office and such programs.
Abstract: Of programs surveyed, more than 80 percent offered the following services: crisis intervention, followup counseling, personal advocacy, referral, restitution and compensation assistance, court orientation, transportation, and escort to court. These services help prosecutors in a number of ways. Most helpful are forms of assistance that explain court procedures to witnesses and court date notification. By allaying fears and instilling a positive attitude toward the criminal justice system, court orientation enables witnesses to provide good evidence, thus increasing convictions. Witness notification reduces the burden on prosecutors and results in decreased continuances and dismissals resulting from witness nonappearance. Counseling services relieve prosecutors of social work tasks. Further, program staff can provide valuable information to prosecutors, report on witness credibility, and serve as a buffer between prosecutors and victims and witnesses. Despite benefits, some prosecutors have reservations about working with these programs because of confidentiality and case control concerns. Prosecutors can strengthen working relationships with such programs through appointment of a liaison officer, establishment of guidelines for interagency cooperation, and communication. Included are 28 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Interagency cooperation; Program design; Prosecutor training; Victim services; Witness assistance
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