Paying attention to the needs of victims of crime, as well as of natural disasters and other traumatic situations, is therefore critical in order to reduce cycles of violence.  Unfortunately, the needs of victims are often overlooked in traditional criminal justice approaches to crime.  We focus on identifying the perpetrator, prosecuting him or her, and punishment.  Rarely are the needs of victims considered through this process.  Prosecutors represent the state, not victims.  Victims are often invited to court just to provide their testimony, not to offer input about how they would like to resolve the situation, or to express how the state could best meet their needs. For more information, check out:  Link to Video of STAR model re Trauma

...How would our criminal justice system be different if we prioritized the needs of victims?  Restorative justice approaches do just that – the opinion, needs, and desires of victims are the driving force behind how a particular harm is addressed.  As part of Mexico's changing criminal justice system, victim's needs are being considered.  In many cases, victim's rights are being incorporated into the Penal Code and Procedures in a more inclusive way than in California, for example.

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