Victims, the criminal justice system and compensation

Author(s)Shapland, Joanna
Title Victims, the criminal justice system and compensation
Source British Journal of Criminology Vol 24 no2 April 1984.
Date 1984
Document type Journal article
Coverage United Kingdom
URL 17&g_sent=1&collection=journals
Summary This article discusses the experiences of a sample of victims of violent crime and their attitudes to the criminal justice system and to compensation. Victims' response to compensation are discussed with regard to their attitudes to the criminal justice system, the effects of the offence on the victim, and the availability of compensation. The author suggests that to approach a victim-centred system, society's view of the victim would need to move from the black-and-white, deterministic picture of the deserving, innocent victim, to a more realistic appreciation of what affects victims and who they are. Those who suffer most may not be the stereotypical elderly victim but instead those who are assaulted at work and feel unable to continue at that job. The author recommends a change in the perception of compensation and of victim assistance. This would embody neither a solely rights-based approach nor a solely welfare approach. Compensation and victim assistance should be based on respect for the victim, leading to rightful recompense and to practical, informational and emotional help.
Keywords Compensation; victim assistance; rights