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Multimedia Program To Improve Criminal Justice System Participation and Reduce Distress Among Physically Injured Crime Victims

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2006
8 pages
This report describes the content and evaluation of a DVD whose goals are to educate physically injured crime victims about the criminal justice system and to help them reduce the emotional distress related to their victimization and their participation in the criminal justice processing of their cases.
In the evaluation, 75 percent of the 66 participants who watched the DVD indicated they were able to pay attention to the presentation either "most of the time" or "all of the time." Ninety-one percent reported the information was clear and understandable, and 95 percent indicated that they experienced little or no anxiety in watching the DVD. There were no significant differences between the responses of those who watched the DVD and those who did not when to came to listing some of the rights that the criminal justice system affords crime victims; however, DVD watchers did demonstrate more knowledge about crime victim compensation programs than did nonwatchers. Compared to nonwatchers, the watchers were more knowledgeable about negative emotional reactions to crime, and they were more aware of strategies they could use to reduce these negative emotions. Ninety-five percent of the watchers indicated a willingness to participate in the criminal justice process, and 67 percent reported that the DVD increased their willingness to participate. All participants in the evaluation were crime victims who had been physically injured in the crime. The 12-minute color DVD's first component provides general information about the criminal justice system and the crime victim compensation program. The second component focuses on common psychological reactions to victimization and strategies for reducing the distress of these reactions. Visual images reinforce the verbal information provided as actors portray various situations likely to be experienced by victims as well as the services available to them. 17 references and a 3-item bibliography

Date Published: April 1, 2006