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Victimology Chapter 5 Study Notes

by: Ryan Desjardins

Victimology Chapter 5 Study Notes CCJ 3666

Ryan Desjardins

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About this Document

Covers the week of 2/1-2/5 Notes for Dr. Doerner's victimology class
Dr. William Doerner
Class Notes
Victimology, criminology, ccj 3666
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ryan Desjardins on Friday February 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CCJ 3666 at Florida State University taught by Dr. William Doerner in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 119 views. For similar materials see Victimology in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University.

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Date Created: 02/05/16
Victimology: Chapter 5 Study Notes 1. Do you think the system’s reasons for helping crime victims are altruistic or selfish? Why? The book believes that the system is selfish when it comes to helping victims that get involved in the process because they get a feeling of alienation from both the offense and the system processes. The emphasis is not on making the victim whole again, rather the system more focuses on processing the offender. The book states "...there is a clear need to take some bold steps to ameliorate the victim's suffering". 2. What is “offender restitution?” Involves the transfer of services or money from the offender to the victim for damages inflicted by the offender. **This idea largely disappeared once the state assumed responsibility for apprehending and prosecuting offenders. 3. What is a “civil restitution lien?” The victim can recover any damages or losses from any assets the offender may have accrued during the criminal act, through the victim request of the court. 4. What are four reasons for requiring offender restitution? 1. Compensation of victims 2. Provides a therapeutic/rehabilitative effect on the offender. Allows the offender to witness firsthand the pain and suffering they caused the victim. 3. Provides a less restrictive alternative to offenders than normal processing 4. Carries a deterrence effect **Deterrence assumes that people will continue to commit deviant acts only as long as there is a positive payoff. By mandating repayment to the victim, restitution returns the offender to the exact same position held prior to the unlawful act, teaching the offender they would've been better off not committing the offense in the first place. 5. Explain the four types of offender restitution. 1. Monetary Victim Restitution- The offender makes direct monetary repayment to the victim for the actual amount of harm or losses incurred. 2. Monetary Community Restitution- Entails payment by the offender to the community, rather than to the actual victim 3. Service Victim Restitution- Offender is required to form a specified number of hours or types of service to the victim instead of monetary compensation 4. Service Community Restitution- Offender is required to form a specified number of hours or types of service to the community instead of monetary compensation **The last two categories occur when the offender does not have the ability to make monetary compensation, such as in the case of unemployed individuals and juveniles. 6. What is a “process evaluation?” The initial wave of restitution evaluations. The emphasis is on the number of offenders handled, the amount of time participants took to make restitutions, the completion rate for restitution orders, and other similar program achievements. 7. What impact has restitution demonstrated in terms of process evaluations? There has been a high offender compliance rate with restitution orders, however, success varies according to the type and level of supervision provided to probationers. 8. What is an “outcome evaluation?” Studies that look at the impact of restitution on victims and offenders. Major keys of assessment are the amount of money collected and funneled to victims and offender recidivism. 9. What impact has restitution demonstrated in terms of outcome evaluations? It was found that offenders who paid a greater proportion of the ordered restitution had lower recidivism than those who did not make as many payments, however Schneider and Schneider (the researchers) caution that the value of restitution depends upon how well the program is administered. 10. What are five problems with restitution? 1. The offenders need to be actually convicted 2. Victim failure to request compensation 3. The Inability of offenders to pay restitution 4. Demonstrating and calculating the loss and the appropriate level of restitution 5. Proper philosophy of the criminal court 11. What contributions does Table 5–4 in your textbook make to the understanding of restitution? It is basically a restitution guidebook, it’s the selected recommendations from the field for restitution programs. 12. Explain what the terms “tort,” “defendant,” and “plaintiff” mean. Tort: A wrongful act Defendant: The offender Plaintiff: The victim A tort refers to a wrongful act that the defendant has committed against the plaintiff. 13. Why do some victims pursue civil litigation options? For the plaintiff (victim) to recover monetary compensation from the defendant for any physical or psychological harm inflicted by the offender. 14. What are some benefits to civil litigation? The victim has a newfound sense of control through court action. Instead of the prosecutor deciding everything and the focus being convicting the offender, the central concern of the court case has turned to the victim and his or her ensuing problems. Another benefit is the level of proof required can be used as "a preponderance of evidence" or "proof beyond reasonable doubt", making it very hard for the offender to be found not guilty in a criminal trial. 15. What are some drawbacks to civil litigation? 1. Many victims are unaware of their option of pursuing a civil suitor how to find an appropriate attorney. 2. The offender must be identified and located 3. Civil cases require the victim to hire an attorney and pay filing fees before the proceedings begin, barring lower class citizens from the civil system 4. Furthur psychological and emotional harm may be given to the victim 5. Most offenders have little or no income, giving little reasoning to expect any recovery even if the victim wins the suit. 16. Explain what the “Son of Sam” provisions tried to accomplish. Created to advance a victims ability to attach an offenders assets, making it possible for restitution to be given to the victim despite an offenders current monetary situation. 17. What defendant resources can come into play during civil litigation? It was deemed unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment protections against censorship, saying "it singles out income derived from expressive activity for a burden the State places on no other income, and it is directed only at works with a specified content". This makes these monies no longer earmarked for confiscation and payment to crime victims. 18. How do third-party civil lawsuits help crime victims? This concerns the issue of whether the defendants negligence failed to establish or to maintain a safe and protected environment. The victim must demonstrate.. 19. What two points must victims demonstrate to be successful in a third- party civil lawsuit? 1. That the criminal episode was a foreseeable event 2. The third party must have failed to take appropriate steps to curtail further criminal events or its efforts must have fallen woefully short. 20. Is private insurance an effective remedy for crime victims? Why or why not? It is not an effective remedy. This is because it actually penalizes the victim further by assuming that it is the victims responsibility to take action and avoid crime by purchasing an insurance plan that includes crime protection (if it is even offered). Another problem is that most insurance policies have a deductible amount that reduces the cash outlay to potential victims. 21. What is “victim compensation?” Takes place when the state, rather than the perpetrator, reimburses the victim for losses sustained at the hands of the criminal. 22. Explain what the “Victims of Crime Act” has done for the practice of victim compensation. The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) initiated a process whereby the federal government would provide victim compensation for federal offenses and federal funds for state compensation programs. 23. Discuss the two philosophical arguments for victim compensation. 1. The Social Contract argument- This perspective maintains that government, through its system of taxation and provision of services, engages in an unwritten contract to care for the safety and well being of its citizens. Also according to this perspective, citizens have relinquished the power of law enforcement to government in exchange for protection. It states that when someone is victimized, it means the government has failed to do its end of the bargain, making it incumbent upon government to restore victimized citizens to their former status. 2. Social Welfare notion- This states the government attempts to provide a minimum standard of living for its disable, deprived, and unfortunate citizens. This notion holds that innocent crime victims fall under this category since they suffered deprivations that are not self induced. As a result, government should extend its welfare practices and come to the rescue of crime victims. 24. What is a “Good Samaritan?” A person who is hurt or killed during an attempt to prevent a crime from taking place, or while attempting to capture a suspected criminal, and is entitled to compensation. 25. True or False: All crimes are compensable acts. False 26. How does “unjust enrichment” affect compensation? Unjust enrichment is when the offender benefits in some way from the crime he committed. For example, domestic violence cases experience this because the offender still resides with the victim. It completely offsets the purpose of compensation since the offender would benefit from it. 27. What is a “financial means test?” A victim must suffer a serious financial hardship before an award will be forthcoming. This is put in place to show if the victim truly suffered a hard loss from the offender. 28. What role does contributory misconduct play in compensation? The victim must not share any criminal responsibility for the event in order to receive compensation, reducing ones standing. 29. What does it mean to say that compensation is a “source of last resort?” This means that compensation is considered after all other avenues for compensation must be exhausted before benefits are forthcoming. Payments go to victims only after all alternate sources of funds are exhausted. 30. What do compensation awards include, and what do they exclude? They include things such as lost wages, medical bills, prosthetics, funeral expenses, and sometimes mental health counseling. They exclude any monies for pain and suffering, or property damage. 31. True or False: States compensate sexual battery victims for the costs associated with forensic medical examinations. True 32. From where do victim compensation programs get their funds? Most state compensation programs receive funds primarily from fines and fees levied on offender, with roughly one third coming to the states from the Crime Victims Fund. Funding also comes from monies recouped through offender restitution payments to the state. 33. How do compensation programs force victims to cooperate with the criminal justice system? Three ways compensation programs force victims to cooperate are... 1. Every state requires the crime to be reported to the police within a short period of time (typically 72 hours). 2. The must also cooperate fully with police investigation and cooperate completely with the prosecution of the case should the state attorney pursue that option. 3. There are deadlines for filing compensation. 34. What is a “macro-level effect?” Refers to a change in some group or organizational characteristic. 35. What macro-level effects, if any, does victim compensation promote? Mandates crime reporting, cooperation with the authorities, participation in court cases, and produces an increased rate of violent crimes known and cleared to and by the police. 36. What is a “micro-level effect?” Refers to any changes in an individual person. 37. What micro-level effects, if any, does victim compensation promote? Victim compensation programs have had little impact on the attitudes and view of the public towards the criminal justice system. 38. What are some problems or concerns with victim compensation? 1. Every program was deluged by the number of claims it had received. 2. Rejection rates exceeded the 50% mark 3. The availability of victim compensation remained a well-kept secret. Most people are not aware of compensation 4. Swamped with claims 5. Lengthy processing time 6. High-rejection rates.


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