Source: (2010) Dissertation submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice. University at Albany, State University of New York.

Beginning in 2001, England and Wales implemented the Victim Personal Statement scheme, allowing victims to provide a statement to be included in their case file expressing the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of the incident and to state what information the victim wants as the case progresses through the system. The VPS was crafted with the specific expectation that victims would not use this resource as a sentencing tool, and that victims are informed of this stipulation when providing a statement. Although there are many studies regarding victim input policies in general, few studies have assessed the Victim Personal Statement scheme, likely due to this policy being relatively new and there being limited available data. This dissertation explored three aspects of the Victim Personal Statement scheme: what incident characteristics influence victims being informed of the policy, what incident characteristics influence whether victims provide a statement, and whether providing a statement influences victims’ perceptions of how the criminal justice system responded to the reported crime. This study suggests that victim age, knowledge of the offender, perceived seriousness of the crime, and injury influence whether the police inform the victim of the opportunity to make a statement regarding the incident. Additionally, victim gender, ethnicity, perceived seriousness of the incident, and resulting injury, as well as whether the incident was racially motivated, influence whether a victim provides a statement. Finally, making a statement did not have a significant relationship with victim satisfaction regarding how the police responded to the reported incident. The implications of these findings are discussed in addition to study limitations and future research directions. (Excerpt).