Redefining justice: addressing the individual needs of victims and witnesses

Author(s)Payne, Sara
Title Redefining justice: addressing the individual needs of victims and witnesses
Source Ministry of Justice London November 2009
Date 2009
Document type Research report
Coverage United Kingdom
URL
Summary This report explores the ways victims experienced the criminal justice system in England and whether they felt their needs were met. The theme of the report is that if services are to be improved for victims then their needs have be considered in terms of the total impact of the crime committed against them and their individual needs arising from this impact. The variation in the level and duration of support needed cannot be predicted based on crime type. Another finding was that victims need joined-up support. Health, education, housing and social services all provide services that a victim may need urgently as a result of a crime committed against them. The report also discusses the need for sufficient resources to improve service delivery. It was found that special measures for vulnerable victims, such as adjustments made for them to give evidence in court, although legislated, are not being uniformly used. The Victims' Champion admits that a lot of positive work has been done to improve the support available for victims but there is still a disparity between policy and reality for many victims.
Keywords Support; victims needs; witnesses
Topic Service delivery