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State Task Force on Victims' Rights, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
59 pages
The California Council on Criminal Justice established the State Task Force on Victims' Rights in January 1987 to recommend statewide policy and legislative priorities that reflect victims' rights to restitution and allocution.
In conducting its inquiry, the Task Force heard from over 80 individuals at three public hearings and received testimony on practices and procedures affecting crime victims in California from victims and family members, criminal justice system representatives, and public agency personnel serving victims. The Task Force also commissioned a statewide survey of judges, district attorneys, probation officers, and victim-witness program staff to evaluate perceptions about the California Victims' Rights Bill. The Task Force found that delays in cases involving victims prolong their suffering and recovery process and that many victims do not exercise their allocution rights at sentencing or parole hearings. Further, victim notification procedures require standardization and systematic implementation at State and local levels. Victims unable to attend sentencing hearings need assistance in making their views known to the court, and many victims are not advised or assisted in preparing impact statements. Restitution is often not ordered in cases where it is a viable sentencing component; also, restitution collection procedures at the local level vary considerably and have mixed results in overall effectiveness and accountability. Criminal justice personnel are not consistently attentive on a statewide basis to the special needs of victims. Recommendations to improve victims' rights are divided into three main sections: legislative action; executive action; and recommendations for the criminal justice system (judiciary, law enforcement, prosecutors, probation, and corrections). Appendixes contain supplemental information on the Task Force inquiry.


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