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LAWS 2301 (138)

Desiree Hayward

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LAWS 2301
Saunders- Carleton University

1 December 4 2012 Laws2301a Lecture 12 Victims (Chapter 4.4) - roles, rationales - services, needs - recent initiatives At the heart of every crime there is some form of victim damage; emotional, financial, physical Final exam - format - Part 1 sample questions - Part 2 essay question Clarke: roles of victim/state Victim: •raw material •give evidence •symbolic presence--legitimates the use of the state power against the accused State: •provide justice, moderation, rationality – instead of allowing the victim’s family to go after the accused •preserve order – preserves order when people have been victimized to do something about it Clarke: The only power left to the victim, is not to report the crime in the first place (don’t provide raw material)—33-50% of people do not report crimes: This also depends on the type of crimes 1 in 6 sexual assaults are reported (higher rate, 1 in 20) There is a problem in the CJS regarding victims; it does not always serve their interests, takes away their conflicts, leaves victims with anger and frustration—causing a rise in victim’s rights movements (60-70s) Victims’ rights movement •being left out = anger/frustration •poor treatment when they did enter the court—not only were they victimized by accused, but also in the way they have been treated by the police, prosecutor and courts themselves (double victimization) •fear of crime—wanted to assert some form of control over the problem—victims banding together •law & order movement in U.S.—the idea that the government was not doing enough, was “soft” on crimes •women’s rights movement—women were particularly victimized by CJS—particularly in sexual assault cases (not feeling protected) •self-help movement—reflection of the loss of faith in government—government was not doing enough to help victims, they have to do it themselves •humanitarian concerns— the idea that victims suffer some kind of loss and need to be compensated for that loss (loss of state not providing adequate help) ex: victim’s services, liberal movements in 70-80s Things to remember about victims; 1) Victims are a heterogeneous group—their needs are not uniform 2) Neither victims nor groups that work for them speak with one voice—different groups represent different needs of victims/ different constituencies 2 3) No consensus on how to improve reforms for victims in government treatment: some say more counseling, more punitive responses on part of state—hence why politicians claim to be claiming to be “doing something” to line up victim’s groups behind them ***As victims became more vocal, they became easier to pander to- the reality of treatment is often something very different 4) Victims can mean different things—different types of victims; (only victims of violent crimes???) Victim is also used in senses; victim of accident, victim of circumstances 5) It is acknowledged that victims have been poorly treated in CJS—once they were pushed out they have not had an easy time getting back in (some more so than others- sexual assault victims) AND they continue to not be well received in the court processes! 6) Victims and offenders share the same characteristics—crime is most likely to take place in a home or an intimate situation (by a friend, relative etc.)—this poses a problem on how to design programs which recognize victimization as it occurs in society (not all victims are victimized by strangers) Types of groups - concerned with: •better services wanted—particularly for victims of violence •better restitution for victims—whether through criminal inquiries, compensation boards: how do you get more money to put the victim back the way they were •achieving harsher penalties/punishments—these groups want more voice, harsher punishments •special or focused concerns—sexual assault crisis centers, MADD, elderly crime advocacy groups: often a lot of overlap in these groups Services/schemes •crisis & victims’ support services—generally, these tend to be self-starters, tend to develop without state support (sexual assault help groups) •witness assistance schemes—(a lot of state support): We want better witnesses to give better evidence—and therefore, make a better system •compensation schemes— certain types of crimes, victims were eligible for compensation (however, the funds were relatively limited as to who they apply to)—Ontario: Criminal Inquiries Compensation Board •restitution & reconciliation schemes—Seen to be making the formal setting cheaper, thought to be bringing victims back in the sentencing part (not in a court setting) •locate/referral services—The victim is having contact with some type of central agency; police may refer (places to go for dealing with hate crime)—mostly volunteer supported groups, sometimes state funded •legislation allowing more V involvement—This has been one of the big pushes on the part of some victims wanting a larger role in a formal way; trying to strengthen the rights of victims within the process itself (a right to speak to sentence, was a possibility in the 80’s until made legal right), rights to be notified when a person is being released on bail, parole Traditional role of victim: give evidence, strengthen prosecutor’s case There has been a lot of debate around allowing the victim a greater role! Rationales for V involvement •represent public interest or at least a class of the public and therefore serve a symbolic presence •property right in V— argument that the victim has a right to be there because a property right has been created •demand for public input-- theories of how to get more, and better input 3 •V treated like party in many ways & thus rights should follow—argument that they are already protected
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