This is the executive summary of an evaluation report on the impact of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) victims' rights clinics, which were intended to increase awareness of victims' rights among criminal justice professionals and to respond to violations of rights through legal advocacy.
The impact evaluation determined that victims' rights clinics have made a difference in promoting the rights of victims in individual cases; and they may help more generally in promoting a more sympathetic view of victims' rights among court officials. The clinics have also had some influence in expanding the rights of victims in the States where clinic participants reside, as they have become involved in influential appellate decisions and legislative efforts. In its effort to reflect the scope of clinic activities, the evaluation used multiple methods. First, the research team examined notations of rights in prosecutor case files in which victims were represented by clinic attorneys with similar cases in which victims did not have representation. Second, victims in the two samples of cases were surveyed in order to elicit their perspectives on whether their rights were observed, as well as their satisfaction with the justice process. Surveys were also conducted with prosecutors, judges, victim advocates, and defense attorneys in order to determine their opinions about victims' rights and the clinics. Legislation, court rules, and appellate decisions pertaining to victims' rights before and after the start of the clinics were examined. The coverage of victims' rights in the print media before and after clinics was examined. In addition, victim clinic directors were interviewed in order to obtain and synthesize their thoughts on the sustainability of the clinics. 1 table
Report (Grant Sponsored)
Date Published: September 1, 2012