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Master List of
New Directions Recommendations
Directions from the Field:
Rights and Services for the 21st Century
for Civil Remedies
The recommendations below, which
appear in the May 1998 New Directions Report, have been reformatted
for replication and distribution.
|Traditional sources to compensate crime victims often fall considerably short of covering victims' total financial losses related to criminal victimization. Increasingly, more victims are looking to the civil justice system for reparations for the physical, psychological, and financial losses they incur as a result of criminal acts. In the last decade, civil litigation has emerged as a meaningful option for crime victims seeking financial and emotional redress. However, the ability of victims to seek civil remedies has been hampered by a lack of information about their civil justice options. The following recommendations are set forth by the field:
- Crime victims should be fully
informed of their legal rights to pursue civil remedies.
- State and local networks of
civil attorneys who have experience representing crime victims should
be expanded. Education and training on civil remedies for victims should
be offered to attorneys to increase the pool of qualified lawyers in
these networks and to maintain the level of expertise between member
attorneys. Nonattorney experts and professionals should participate
in this training and network to educate attorneys on victim issues and
make their representation more effective.
- Increased efforts should be
made to identify consultants with the expertise to testify on issues
relevant to victimization in civil and criminal cases.
- Civil attorneys should work
with victim service providers, law enforcement officials, and prosecutors
in their communities to develop an easy-to-understand pamphlet about
civil remedies for crime victims.
- Civil attorneys should provide
training to victim service providers on civil remedies for crime victims.
- Statutes of limitations for
civil actions involving child abuse cases should be extended, as has
been done in a number of States. States also should examine statutes
of limitations for civil actions relating to other criminal acts to
determine whether they should be extended to provide a meaningful opportunity
for crime victims to obtain needed relief.
|New Directions from the
Victims' Rights and Services for the 21st Century
|The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.