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`Nobody came’: criminal justice and the needs of victims.”

Wright, Martin
June 4, 2015

Source: (1977) Howard Journal. 16(1): 22-31.

When a crime is committed, the action that follows traditionally is focused on the offender. The victim has little place in the criminal. The victim has little place in the criminal justice The criminal injuries compensation scheme, introduced in Great Britain in, offers compensation to persons injured as a result of violent crimes of during attempts to arrest offenders, to prevent offenses, or to help law enforcement officers. Although it has limitations, the scheme is an example of the State’s assumption of responsibility or compensating victims of physical violence. In addition to the national scheme, Britain has localized, volunteer-staffed victim support schemes which offer practical assistance and moral support, but not compensation, primarily to victims of property offences. A Columbus, Ohio program refers disputes and minor criminal acts to an informal hearing, during which the victim and the offender can agree to a solution outside of court. The Minneapolis Restitution Center arranges payment contracts between victims and offenders. The Question of whether reparation is adequate sanction is addressed. Both the retributive and the deterrent aspects of punishment are considered, and shortcoming in the logic of traditional approaches to punishment are pointed out. The proposal that the victim be helped by the offender or by the community and that the offender be required to make amends to the victim or to the community is said to be one approach to demonstrating respect for the victim’s feelings and offering practical help to the victim while treating the offender in a way that will draw him back into society rather that increase his isolation.


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