The Heart of the Criminal Justice System: a Critical Analysis of the Position of the Victim

In: Social Issues

Submitted By seeseer
Words 20228
Pages 81
Abstract
The aim of this dissertation, which is based on secondary research involving analysing a range of books, journal articles, Government publications, newspaper articles and videos, is to critically examine the position of the victim in the criminal justice system. The paper looks at the role of political interests in establishing victimfocus policies and the direction towards their placement at the heart of the justice system. This includes the managerialistic values, modernization of the Government and covering-up of punitive measures taken against the offender that all point to the political rhetoric around the centeredness of the victim. Furthermore, the view of traditional justice is accounted for in order to get a grasp of the many underlying factors that can be attributed to the so called rebirth and the consequent concentration on the victim.
The paper firstly discusses characteristics of victims, the impact of crime on victims and also their needs for a better understanding of who they are and what can be done to help them. Particular attention is drawn to stereotypes associated with victims and constructions of the ideal victim. Secondly, the adversarial nature of English justice and implications for victims are discussed, as well as some tensions between the interests of the offender and the victim, and the opposed nature of the two. Procedural and service rights especially play an important role in defining whether victims are given appropriate attention. Many new initiatives favour the victim and pledge for its better treatment, but it will be shown that there are conflicts as to what can be done in reality and what is proposed. However, it cannot be disputed that support for victims has progressed significantly within the last decade. In the dissertation, it will be argued that the position of the victim, influenced by these…...

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