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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99613 Find in a Library
Title: Forgotten Party - The Victim of Crime
Journal: University of British Columbia Law Review  Volume:18  Issue:2  Dated:(1984)  Pages:319-334
Author(s): B Dickson
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 16
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: An address by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada considers the informational, emotional, and financial needs of victims and describes ways the criminal justice system can be improved from the victim's standpoint and increased services made available.
Abstract: Although the victim was once a central figure in any criminal proceeding, sharpening distinctions between crime and tort has made the victim's role a secondary one. The victim has become just another witness in the criminal justice process, and the time is overdue for formal acknowledgment that the victim does have a special interest. Major problems faced by victims are lack of information about a case's progress and inadequate preparation for being a witness in court. Court delays are also frustrating for the victim and give the impression there is little concern about the case. While the victim lacks a legally recognized interest in the prosecution of an offender, he should have the right to know that the judge took his plight into consideration in sentencing. The victim may receive a tangible benefit from the judicial process in a restitution order for money payments, services, or both. Victims can also turn to state compensation schemes for financial redress, but the existence of such programs is not widely known. Such schemes, however, are limited to victims of violent crime and usually impose minimum claim levels. The emotional costs of victimization are extremely high and a response to it is needed. While some responses to victims can be improved simply through attitude changes or redeployment of existing resources, many require extra money. One proposed source of funds is a surtax on persons convicted of criminal offenses. The paper includes 16 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Canada; Psychological victimization effects; Victim compensation; Victim services
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