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General Education Studies
James Roffee

State responses: experiences in the court system The role of the victim in CJ  Subject for victimological research and inquiry.  Greatest amount of victimisation takes place outside the view of the CJS and some most vulnerable and neglected victims remain invisible to CJS.  Role with police: o Report crime. o Help investigate. o Be prepared to go to court as a witness if there’s a trial.  Witness care units: o Engage in a full needs assessment. o Can explain how they’re affected. o Option to complete a VPS and give to police.  Crown Prosecution Service: o Be prepared to go to court as a prosecution witness. o Give evidence in court if there’s a trial.  Magistrates’ Courts: o Be prepared to go as a prosecution witness and give evidence.  Crown courts: o Be prepared to go as a prosecution witness and give evidence.  Prison: o If they have concerns about the release, etc. Recognition of the victim  There has been a remarkable return of the victim to the centre stage of CJ policy. o Their interests and feelings are now routinely invoked in support of measures of punitive segregation between victim and offender.  Significant mobilisation of victims rights campaigns.  Resulted in changes to CJS practice. o Policy training. o Victim impact statements. o Victim role in parole decisions.  Previously: o Lawyers, attorneys allowed to question sexual preferences, how wide she opens her mouth during oral sex and whether she wears a bra or not. o Cross examination – not to determine guilt of offenders, was to identify whether the case should be heard in a criminal court or military tribunal.  Attempt to ruin the credibility of the person claiming victim status and undermine them in such a way that the judge and jury will believe and vote in favour of the defendant.  Rely on social stereotypes e.g. women who don’t wear bras are asking for it. Focus of the CJS  Witness reports: o Gather facts and ask all the questions necessary to determine if the police have enough info to prosecute e.g. if she was raped they’d ask if she was a prostitute. o Focus: Accurate fact finding.  Police: o Trained – asked questions about what happened as soon after the offence as possible. o Focus: Procedural justice.  Prosecution: o Not really interested in the victim, just if the state is harmed. o Focus: State vs. defendant.  Courts: o Person will be judged innocent or guilty. o Focus: CJS outcome/conviction.  Sentence: o Determination of the appropriate sentence. o Focus: Sentence.  Corrections: o Make sure it is served. o Focus: Sentence served/release. Victim experiences  Not the centre of the system.  Getting it right in terms of the system, not the victim.  Needs, wants and ideas of justice compared to procedural justice that does not attend to these concerns or recognise the victim. o Justice for a victim is different to justice for the offender and justice for the system. o May be retributed, system might want a caution and the offender might want to be treated fairly once accused. Victim needs  Compensation.  Restitution. o Want to be put back in the same position as before.  Inform about the offender and the offence.  Platform to communicate emotions. o Not heard properly/silenced, want to speak about their incident openly to try and prevent it for others (can’t do this through court system).  Empowerment. o Capacity to influence outcomes/consultations. o They influence outcomes, but have been disempowered by the event.  The system doesn’t really allow them to be empowered.  Doesn’t emphasise consulting with the victim.  Security and preventing further victimisation – self/others.  Sense of closure. o Want to be empowered and move on from it. Victim needs in practice  Info on progress of investigation (policing).  Explanation of charges, bail and remand (policing).  Court schedules (courts).  Guidance on how the court system works (courts).  Why courts make decisions in the way they do (courts).  Victim role in process (courts).  Sentencing procedures (courts).  Court outcomes (courts).  Explanation of compensation/available support (courts).  Offender release date and conditions (corrections).  The opportunity (in some cases) to be involved (corrections). Diversity of victim perspe
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