for the New
Global Challenge #1:
To enact and enforce consistent,
fundamental rights for crime victims in Federal, State, juvenile, military,
and Tribal justice systems, and administrative proceedings.
- What significant changes have
we seen in our community/State with respect to providing and enforcing
rights to crime victims over the past decade?
- New Directions emphasizes
that victims' rights must be consistent across all justice systems.
While there may be fairly comprehensive rights for crime victims within
the criminal justice system, what is the status of rights in other justice
systemsjuvenile, Federal, Tribal, military, and administrative
- Enforcement of victims' rights
is critical. What mechanisms are in place in our community/State to
ensure that victims receive their rights?
- Are criminal and juvenile justice
professionals in our community knowledgeable about and consistently
applying victims' rights laws?
- The New Directions videotape
presents two opposing perceptions of the justice system's attitude toward
crime victims. Are victims viewed as a "necessary nuisance" by our justice
system or are victims viewed as a "critical part of the case process"?
- What factors do you think affect
the implementation of victims' rights?
- Do you think that the justice
system's attitude toward crime victimsfavorable or notinfluences
the implementation of these rights?
- What are the most critical rights
for crime victims in our community/State? Why?
- What rights are currently inconsistently
- How do we begin as a community
to address these inconsistencies?
To provide crime victims with
access to comprehensive, quality services regardless of the nature of
their victimization, age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation,
capabilities, or geographic location.
- Not all crime victims have easy
access to victim services. Which crime victims are currently underserved
in our community (for example, crime victims with disabilities, crime
victims who are non-English speaking, and crime victims living in rural
and remote areas)?
- What can our community do to
improve outreach and provide quality victim services to these crime
- One victim states in the videotape:
"Crime victims have different needs and the criminal justice system
must meet the needs of everyone." What can our community do to better
reach out to all victims?
- Are victim assistance materials
printed in foreign languages?
- How can we better employ technologies
that enable hearing-impaired victims to access critical information
- What other special needs victims
do we serve, and what programs or services can we develop to help them
as they navigate the justice process?
To integrate crime victims' issues
into all levels of the Nation's educational system to ensure that justice
and allied professionals and other service providers receive comprehensive
training on victims' issues as part of their academic education and continuing
training in the field.
- The New Directions videotape
emphasizes the importance of educating all criminal and juvenile justice
and allied professionals about crime victims issues. What types of training
programs currently exist in our community for justice professionals?
- What about allied professionals
such as those working in the health care, mental health, business, media,
faith, and legal communities?
- What can we do to increase discipline-specific
training opportunities for criminal and juvenile justice and allied
- As one victim stated in the
New Directions videotape, "Survivors have a unique understanding
and the country needs to tap into that understanding." What role can
victims play in educating criminal and juvenile justice and allied professionals
on training needs?
- The videotape also emphasizes
that higher education is critical to educate future professionals about
the needs of crime victims. What courses about crime victim issues are
being taught in colleges and universities in our community?
- Community awareness about crime
and its victims is a critical element in increasing public support for
victims' rights and services. What public awareness or community education
programs currently exist in our community to increase this awareness?
Where do gaps exist?
- What actions can we as a community
undertake to develop or enhance public awareness about victim issues
in our community?
To support, improve, and replicate
promising practices in victims' rights and services built upon sound research,
advanced technology, and multidisciplinary partnerships.
- The videotape highlighted a
few of the many promising practices presented in New Directions.
Was there a particular promising practice that you feel would be appropriate
for replication in our community? Or were there any promising practices
you sponsor that should be considered for expansion or replication?
- Multidisciplinary partnerships
were cited as one of several promising practices in the videotape. For
example, Nashville's comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to domestic
violence has reduced homicide by 50 percent. What multidisciplinary
partnerships currently exist in our community/State?
- What types of crimes might benefit
from the formation of such multidisciplinary interventions, e.g., child
victims, sexual assault?
To ensure that the voices of
crime victims play a central role in the Nation's response to violence
and those victimized by crime.
- Crime victims' voices are heard
throughout the videotape. We heard that victims are uniformly stunned
by a criminal justice process beyond their control and that defendants
are advised of their rights but who advises crime victims of their rights?
Crime victims want to be heard by the justice system. Are mechanisms
in place in our community/State to listen to victims?
- Do judges consistently allow
victims to speak at sentencing or present written impact statements?
If not, why not?
- Do prosecutors consistently
confer with crime victims about the case status and plea agreements?
If not, why not?
- Do probation officials consider
victims' rights such as notification, protection, and restitution in
their supervision plans? If not, why not?
- Do paroling authorities consistently
allow victims to be heard before release decisions are made? If not,
- Victims should be heard throughout
the justice process and on advisory boards, education training committees,
victim impact panels, and in the development of victim-related programs
and services. Does our community take full advantage of the information
and insights that victims bring to the professionals who assist them?
- Where else can victims' voices
be heard in our community?
|New Directions from the
Victims' Rights and Services for the 21st Century