Global Strategies for Implementation
Enhancing Victims' Rights: Federal, State, Tribal, and local justice agencies can turn to New Directions for useful information about current victims' rights laws to determine whether they are adhering to existing legislative mandates. Chapter 1 provides an extensive overview of victims' rights in America and provides 25 recommendations for creating more comprehensive and consistent rights for crime victims.
Strengthening Policies, Procedures, and Protocol: New Directions provides critical information about model policies, programs, and protocol to address crime victims rights and concerns in every critical component of the justice systemlaw enforcement, prosecution, judiciary, and corrections. Federal, State, Tribal, and local justice agencies can review the recommendations contained in New Directions to determine their relevance to existing agency or departmental policies, procedures, and protocol. New Directions contains specific chapters addressing Law Enforcement (Chapter 2); Prosecution (Chapter 3); Judiciary (Chapter 4); and Corrections (Chapter 5).
Establishing Seamless Implementation of Rights Across the Justice System: New Directions emphasizes that the seamless implementation of victims' rights needs to occur across all stages of the justice system. For example, for crime victims to receive restitution, law enforcement officers must advise them of the importance of documenting all losses; the prosecutor must request restitution; the judge must order restitution; and court administrators, institutional, or community corrections agencies must collect restitution. Model programs for restitution and countless other victims' rights initiatives are cited throughout New Directions for replication by victim service providers and allied professionals.
Promoting Criminal Justice Professionals' Awareness of New Directions: Each chapter of New Directions has been published as an individual bulletin and is available through the Office for Victims of Crime Resource Center. (See the Overview of Guide & New Directions Resources section for information about how to obtain free copies of these bulletins.) In addition, the section entitled Master List of Recommendations in this Implementation Guide provides a comprehensive list of recommendations for each chapter, including law enforcement, prosecution, judiciary, and corrections, which can serve as stand-alone handouts or can be distributed with the bulletins. Examples of criminal justice-related bulletins are listed below:
A letter that encourages agencies to take a leadership role in implementing New Directions recommendations should be included as an introduction to the New Directions Bulletin.
A sample letter is provided in the Implementation Guide section entitled Getting the Word Out About New Directions.
Expanding Education and Training Efforts
The following ideas provide excellent examples about how the New Directions recommendations can be used to expand education and training programs for criminal and juvenile justice personnel nationwide.
Law Enforcement Community
Creating New Directions Advisory Committees
Following the lead of national and State agencies and associations, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, judges, and corrections and paroling authorities can create victim advisory committees to guide appropriate revisions to departmental policies based on the New Directions recommendations. Similarly, existing victim advisory committees can incorporate New Directions into their annual strategic plans, goals, and objectives.
Law Enforcement Community
On the national level, organizations such as the National Sheriffs' Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police have established victims' issues committees. Such committees can take a leadership role in reviewing New Directions recommendations, and setting priorities for the Nation's law enforcement agencies on key areas for implementation.
Additionally, accreditation agencies and committees, such as the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) can further advance victims' rights and services by reviewing their current victim service accreditation standards and incorporating recommendations contained in New Directions that are currently not included in their accreditation standards.
State Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police Associations, as well as Tribal and local law enforcement agencies, can place New Directions on their meeting agendas to discuss adopting New Directions recommendations.
On the national, State, and Tribal levels, organizations representing prosecutors, such as the National District Attorneys Association, can establish a crime victims' issues committee. Once established, a committee can take a leadership role in reviewing New Directions recommendations and setting priorities for implementation of New Directions nationwide.
On the national, State, and Tribal levels, the implementation of New Directions recommendations for the judiciary can be placed on the agendas of judicial leadership organizations such as the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators.
Each chief justice can appoint members of the judiciary within their jurisdiction to serve on a victims' issues task force or working group to assess the judiciary's role in implementing New Directions recommendations. Consideration could also be given to amending Codes of Judicial Conduct to reflect the fact that crime victims play a pivotal role in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
On the national level, organizations representing the interests of corrections, such as the American Correctional Association, the American Probation and Parole Association, the Association of State Correctional Administrators, and the Association of Paroling Authorities, International have taken a leadership role in advancing the rights and services for crime victims. Each association has established a crime victims committee. Throughout the 1990s these associations have worked diligently to include crime victims' issues as part of their national agendas. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has established a crime victims working group to develop a long-range plan to help the Bureau better address victims needs. These organizations can further expand their leadership role in victims' rights by establishing priorities for the Nation's correctional communities and by supporting the implementation of New Directions recommendations in State and local correctional agencies.
Each State and regional correctional association should consider following the lead of national correctional associations by establishing crime victims' issues committees to focus on setting priorities relevant to the recommendations set forth for Corrections in Chapter 5 of New Directions.