Victims' rights and services: eligibility, exclusion, and victim worth

Author(s)Trulson, Chad
Title Victims' rights and services: eligibility, exclusion, and victim worth
Source Criminology & Public Policy. Columbus May 2005. Vol 4, Issue 2, p.399, 15 pgs
Date 2005
Document type Journal article
Coverage USA
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Summary The author contends that the crime victims' movement today is still a work in progress with an important issue being the definition of a crime victim. Each state in the USA has developed a set of legal rights for crime victims but there are different legislative definitions of a crime victim, and these definitions serve as a gatekeeper to rights and services provisions offered by the state. In terms of both rights and services many states have certain eligibility restrictions once a victim has been defined. The author is of the opinion that legislators do not make judgements about victim worth in restricting eligibility but instead choose crimes that result in the greatest loss and aim for what can be done with limited resources. Exclusion of victims is common, as state victims' rights and services are specific in availability to some victims, such as tending to support victims of personal violence than property crime. For the future, as the victims' rights movement attempts to be more inclusive and accommodating, the author recommends more attention to the definition of victims by governments.
Keywords Rights; services; needs
Topic Victims rights