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Victim Awareness: Reading, Analyzing, and Writing Victim Impact Statements

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages
As part of the National-Scope Demonstration Project to Integrate Crime Victims' Issues into University and College Curricula, this curriculum kit for appropriate college courses instructs students in how crime impacts victims and how victims may respond.
The strategy of instruction is to use the Declaration of Independence as a starting point and then guide students in reading, writing, and discussing victim impact statements. This instructional technique is intended to help teachers guide students into the kit's material without requiring a major restructuring of the course syllabus. After completing this kit's instructional goals, it is expected students will be able to list possible victim responses to their victimization; describe reactions from others that a victim might experience; plan a way to respond to a crime victim; assess the impact of crime on a variety of victims; contrast victim impacts in different kinds of victimization; compare a historical document and situation to a contemporary occurrence; write with clarity to appeal to an audience; and select appropriate details in describing a crime's impact on the victim. Although this curriculum kit was initially piloted in an introductory undergraduate college writing course, it is also suitable for courses in English, such as a course in argumentative writing, as well as courses in political science, history, and criminal justice. The instructor's guide estimates that completing this kit's objectives will require 70-90 minutes of class time. A suggested structure for the instruction is provided, with time frames recommended for each component of the instructional plan. Online access is provided to seven readings pertinent to the kit's objectives. A listing of national resources for crime victims is provided in the instructor's guide.