Victims of Crime

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-01-01
  • Publisher: Willan
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Over the last thirty years, victims of crime have become a staple topic of media interest and policy-making discourse. Drawing on an extensive programme of first-hand empirical data gathered at some 300 English criminal trials, this book examines the practical outcomes of this reform agenda and assesses the meaning, implications and impact of the UK government's pledge to put victims 'at the heart' of the criminal justice system. The study also draws on in-depth interviews with barristers and solicitors, as well as court administrators and other Local Criminal Justice Board members. The book delves into the policy-making process behind these reforms, based on interviews conducted at key government departments, and offers a model for what a genuinely 'victim centred' criminal justice system might look like in the twenty-first century, drawing on the psychological and sociological literature on narrative responses to traumatic events.Key features include:hands-on analysis of the place of victims in criminal trials as they actually operate, based on extensive empirical research and data gathered first-hand at courtsthe development of victim-related policy-making placed into its wider, international and societal contexta systematic analysis of the occupational cultures of criminal justice practitioners when dealing with domestic violence and sex crimeuse of narrative analysis to understand the needs and expectation of crime victims becoming involved with the criminal justice system.

Author Biography

Matthew Hall is Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Law, University of Sheffield.

Table of Contents

List of abbreviationsp. ix
Acknowledgementsp. x
Victims, victimology and policy-makingp. 1
Researching victimsp. 1
Victims in academia and politicsp. 3
Raising questionsp. 9
Methodologyp. 12
Book structurep. 14
Victims in criminal justice: rights, services and vulnerabilityp. 16
Victim 'rights'p. 16
Facilities, services and support for victimsp. 27
Vulnerable and intimidated victims as witnessesp. 31
Ways forwardp. 39
Victims of crime: a policy chain?p. 44
Victim policies?p. 44
Interpreting the 'policy'p. 45
Victims and witnesses: shaping the 'policy'p. 45
Politics, pressures and influences: deconstructing the 'policy chain'p. 47
A policy chain?p. 88
A narrative-based model of victim-centredness in criminal trialsp. 95
Storytelling and narrativep. 95
Stories in criminal trialsp. 100
Victims' narratives and account-making at the heart of criminal justicep. 102
Victims in criminal trials: victims at courtp. 116
The Witness Servicep. 116
Prosecutors and victimsp. 121
Wider facilities and information at courtp. 123
Waiting at courtp. 124
Domestic violence: 'one on its own'?p. 143
Victims at courtp. 146
Victims in criminal trials: the trial itselfp. 150
Calling witnessesp. 150
Giving evidencep. 153
Reactions to evidencep. 164
Special measuresp. 170
The impact of crime in criminal trialsp. 178
Victims and witnesses after trialsp. 186
Victims at the heart of criminal justice: principles or practice?p. 188
Victims 'at the heart' of criminal justice: a discussionp. 191
What would it mean to have a victim-centred criminal justice system?p. 191
What factors have driven this 'policy'?p. 216
What has putting victims 'at the heart' of the system meant so far in practice?p. 218
Final pointsp. 228
Referencesp. 231
Indexp. 249
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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