From victim to political activist: an empirical examination of a statewide victims' rights movement

Author(s)Smith, Brent, and Huff, C. Ronald
Title From victim to political activist: an empirical examination of a statewide victims' rights movement
Source Journal of Criminal Justice Vol 20 pp. 201-215 1992
Date 1992
Document type Journal article
Coverage Alabama, USA
Summary This study addresses the lack of research into the victims' rights movement. It examines the motivations and goals of the victims' rights advocates and the impact the movement has had on the justice system. For the study a primary sample was drawn from the residents of Alabama and a supplementary sample of victims not active in the victims' movement and a further supplementary sample drawn from members of local rights organisations. This included members of the Victims Rights Organisation, one of the most active local victims' rights organisations in the USA. The results of the study suggest that the victims' rights movement may becoming polarised, with groups in Alabama advocating a more punitive approach. The recommendations from this study include the need for legislators and other policy makers to ensure that consideration is given to all segments of the population when developing criminal and victim justice strategies. It is also recommended that special efforts are made to ensure the views of Black victims are considered before decisions regarding crime and justice are made, to ensure the retribution-oriented, white-dominated victims' groups will not wield disproportionate influence.
Keywords Victims rights; reforms; victimisation
Topic Victims rights