Violent crime and victim compensation: Implications for social justice

Author(s)Smith, Hayden P.
Title Violent crime and victim compensation: Implications for social justice
Source Violence and Victims. New York: Jun 2006. Vol. 21, Iss. 3; pg. 307
Date 2006
Document type Journal article
Coverage USA
Summary This article examines the social justice implications of victims compensation funding in the USA, in the context of restorative justice. The author looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the types of compensation currently available for victims, including civil litigation, social welfare programs, private insurance and federal/state funds. The recipients of a state based compensation scheme in Maryland were found to be in line with the demographics of national surveys of victims of crime, that is African American, male, young and poor. However examination of compensation at a national level, through VOCA, showed that recipients tended to be women. Two social justice frameworks are then discussed, the Liberal Framework and the Radical Feminist Framework. The article concludes by arguing that restitutive justice is by definition a form of needs-based justice and therefore a liberal model of compensation, focusing on the most needy would be the most appropriate way to distribute compensation.