Andrews, A. 1992. Victimization and Survivor Services: A Guide to Victim Assistance. New York: Springer Publishing Co.
Ash, Michael. 1972. “On Witnesses: A Radical Critique of Criminal Court Procedures.” Notre Dame Lawyer 48:386–425.
Brownmiller, S. 1975. Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Bureau of Justice Statistics. 1998. Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
Burgess, A. 2004. “Research and Practice in Victim Services: Perspective from Education and Research.” In American Society of Victimology Symposium Proceedings, A. Burgess and T. Underwood. Topeka, Kansas: Washburn University, 2.
Burgess, A. and L. Holstrom. 1974. “Rape Trauma Syndrome. American Journal of Nursing. 131: 981–986.
Carrington, F. G. 1975. The Victims. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House Pub.
Deuteronomy, in The Holy Bible (Today’s New International Version). Retrieved July 17, 2007, from www.ibs.org/niv/passagesearch.php?passage_request=Deuteronomy%2019&tniv=yes.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. 1981. Crime in the United States Uniform Crime Reports, 1981. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
Goldstein, A. S. 1982. “Defining the Role of the Victim in Criminal Prosecution. Mississippi Law Journal 52:515–561.
Gordon, H. 1957 Hammurabi’s Code: Quaint or Forward Looking. New York: Rinehart.
Karmen, A. 2004. Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson.
Masters, R., and C. Roberson. 1985. Inside Criminology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
National Center for Victims of Crime. 1994a. Crime Victims’ Rights in America: An Historical Overview. Arlington, VA: Author.
Pound, R. 1968. Social Control Through the Law. Hamden, CT: Archon.
Rheinstein, C., ed. 1954. Max Weber on Law in Economy and Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Siegel, L. 1989. Criminology, 3rd ed. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing.
Sherr, L. 1995. Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words. New York: Times Books.
Wallace, H. 1998. Victimology: Legal, Psychological, and Social Perspectives. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Young, M. 1988. “The Crime Victims’ Movement,” in F. Ochberg (Ed.), Post-Traumatic Therapy and Victims of Violence, New York: Brunner/Mazel, 319–329.
Bard, M., and D. Sangrey. 1986. The Crime Victim’s Book, 2nd ed. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
Bureau of Justice Statistics. 1998. National Crime Victimization Survey. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. 1998. Crime in the United States, Uniform Crime Reports, 1997. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
Headden, S. July 1, 1996. “Guns, Money and Medicine.” U.S. News and World Report
30, 31, 34, 36.
Kilpatrick, D. G., C. N. Edmunds, and A. K. Seymour. 1992. Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. Arlington, VA: National Center for Victims of Crime.
Kilpatrick, D. G. and H. S. Resnick. 1993. “PTSD Associated with Exposure to Criminal Victimization in Clinical and Community Populations,” In PTSD in Review: Recent Research and Future Directions, eds. J. R. T. Davidson and E. B. Foa, 113–143.
Kilpatrick, D. G., A. Seymour, and J. Boyle. 1991. America Speaks Out: Citizens’ Attitudes about Victims’ Rights and Violence. Arlington, VA: National Center for Victims of Crime.
Lurigio, A., W. Skogan, and R. Davis. 1990. Victims of Crime: Problems, Policies and Programs. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.
Miller, T., M. Cohen, and B. Wiersema. 1996. Victim Costs and Consequences: A New Look. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice.
National Center for Victims of Crime. 1998. Legislative Sourcebook. Arlington, VA: Author.
Office for Victims of Crime. 1998. New Directions from the Field: Victims’ Rights and Services for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
Resnick, H. S., D. G. Kilpatrick, B. S. Dansky, B. E. Saunders, and C. L. Best. 1993. “Prevalence of Civilian Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a Representative National Sample of Women.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 61(6): 984–991.
Roberts, A. 1990. Helping Crime Victims. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
Victims’ Assistance Legal Organization (VALOR). 1995–1999. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Resource Guide. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime.
Victims’ Rights Laws in the United States
Christine Edmunds and Anne Seymour1
NVAA Module 3
Describe 10 major categories of victims’ rights laws.
Identify types of records needed to document losses for victim restitution.
Discuss actions that can be taken to ensure that victims’ rights are enforced.
Thousands of laws have been enacted to provide rights for victims of crime in our nation’s justice systems. However, victims’ rights laws are not consistent nationwide and vary considerably, as do rights for crime victims across different justice systems. Indeed, our nation’s set of victims’ rights laws has been described as a “patchwork quilt” (Office for Victims of Crime [OVC], 1998). This chapter will explore crime victims’ rights, including the evolution of rights, basic rights for victims, and the enforcement of victims’ rights laws.
EVOLUTION OF VICTIMS’ RIGHTS IN THE UNITED STATES
Crime victims’ rights laws in the United States date back to the late 1800s, with the enactment of a limited number of restitution statutes. In the early 20th century, laws were passed to protect children from abuse and neglect, but these statutes primarily addressed the exploitation of children in the workplace. In 1965, California’s legislature passed the nation’s first law to create a crime victim compensation program. However, it was not until the 1970s that laws providing rights for crime victims in our nation’s justice systems first began to emerge. Throughout the 1970s, states began enacting piecemeal laws for crime victims, but the nation had yet to embrace victims’ rights. With the passage of the first Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in 1980, Wisconsin ushered in a historic change by focusing on a broad range of rights that addressed victims’ needs and concerns.
According to the publication New Directions From the Field: Victims’ Rights and Services for the 21st Century, “few movements in the history of this nation have achieved such success in igniting the kind of legislative response that victims’ rights activists have fostered over the past two decades” (OVC, 1998, p. 4). In the early 1980s, state laws addressing victims’ rights numbered in the hundreds. Today, there are more than 32,000 crime victim-related state statutes, 32 state victims’ rights constitutional amendments, and comprehensive rights for federal crime victims (National Center for Victims of Crime, n.d.) However, it is not enough to just have laws enacted – the enforcement of victims’ rights has become an important area of focus. These enforcement efforts will be discussed at the end of this Chapter.
The myriad accomplishments relevant to our nation’s passage of victims’ rights laws across the federal, criminal, juvenile, tribal, and civil court systems are documented in “Landmarks in Victims’ Rights and Services,” which was published in the 2006 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Resource Guide and is available online at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/ncvrw/2006/pdf/landmarks.pdf.