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Fundamentals Of Victims' Rights: A Summary of 12 Common Victims' Rights

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2011
18 pages
This issue summarizes 12 common victims' rights.
The bulletin notes that in most States, "crime victims" are defined as not only the "direct" victims of crime, but also family members of homicide victims, guardians of victimized minors, and other selected representatives of "direct" victims. The first right reviewed is the right to fairness, dignity, respect, and privacy in the course of victims' involvement in criminal justice proceedings. The "Right to Notice" is another right, which requires that criminal justice officials advise victims of their rights as crime victims and provide them access to events pertinent to their cases. A third right is the "right to be present" at the criminal trial and other criminal justice proceedings related to the investigation, prosecution, and incarceration of the offender. A fourth right is the "right to be heard" through oral and/or written statements to the court at a criminal proceeding. A fifth right, the "right to reasonable protection," pertains to victims' right to protection by the criminal justice system from the accused person. The sixth right, the "right to restitution," pertains to access to money paid by a convicted offender to victims for losses suffered from the crime. Other rights ensure that victims receive information and resources that assist in addressing their needs related to the crime; are facilitated in applying for victim financial compensation from the jurisdiction; are not subjected to unreasonable delay in processing their case; can collect and provide information about the crime and case processing to criminal justice officials; can obtain a copy of the presentence report and transcripts; and can exercise pertinent rights at both the trial and appellate courts.