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close this bookHandbook on Justice for Victims (UNODCCP, 1999, 132 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsChapter I: The impact of victimization
Open this folder and view contentsChapter II: Victim assistance programmes
Open this folder and view contentsChapter III: The role and responsibility of front-line professionals and others to victims
Open this folder and view contentsChapter IV: Advocacy, policy-making and law reform: the role of civil society
Open this folder and view contentsChapter V: Working together at the international level
View the documentAnnex I: Programme parameters
View the documentAnnex II: Suggested resources
View the documentAnnex III: Key United Nations documents on victims of crime and abuse of power
View the documentAnnex IV: Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Powera
View the documentAnnex V: Contributors to the Handbook
View the documentBibliography

Annex I: Programme parameters

The definition of programme parameters should begin with an analysis of the gaps in and priorities of existing victim services, in order to identify what missing services are appropriate for the programme to implement immediately, which can be implemented in the future and which services are appropriate for other programmes. It should be determined whether there are criminal justice and social institutions that have an impact on victims in ways that will affect the structure of the programme. The following issues should be considered:

The parameters of the operation of the criminal justice system

- How does the criminal justice system work?

- How do privacy laws affect law enforcement and other criminal justice records?

- How are law enforcement reports made, what types of information are gathered and how can this information be used in victim assistance?

- What levels of discretion are afforded to criminal justice authorities in pursuing a case?

- How are criminal proceedings initiated? Do victims have a role or rights in the initiation of a case?

- May victims be involved in a decision to terminate a case?

- What laws or policies govern the information a victim receives or the participation that he or she may be afforded?

- What happens at trial and how is the victim treated?

- Does the victim have an obligation or a right to be present? Are victims present only as witnesses or providers of evidence? Do victims have legal standing in a case?

- Who has the burden of proof?

- Are there sanctions against criminal justice personnel if victim rights are not observed?

- What informal, alternative systems of justice exist? If such systems exist, how are the interests of victims addressed?

- How do victim rights in a case compare to the rights of the accused?

- What are the alternatives to trial, for example, diversion programmes, plea agreements and the like?

- What happens at sentencing?

- How is restitution treated? Do victims have a right to claim damages? Do they have an opportunity to request restitution? Is restitution used as a penal sanction?

- What happens after case disposition?

- What happens when someone is on probation or when someone is being considered for parole or clemency?

- Are there special victim services targeting criminal justice staff who are victimized?

- What are the differences between me adult criminal justice system and the juvenile or other parallel systems of justice?

- Do the criminal justice professionals receive special training on victim issues, violence prevention, substance abuse and cross-cultural service delivery?

The parameters of compensation

- How is compensation to victims provided?
- Is compensation effected solely through claims for restitution?
- Is there a State compensation programme?
- What benefits does a compensation programme provide?
- What are the eligibility requirements?
- How do state compensation, restitution and private insurance work together?
- What kind of losses might a victim suffer that would not be compensated?
- Is there a mechanism to establish compensation for victims of abuse of power?

The parameters of mental health services

- Are mental health services provided in the jurisdiction?
- Are there 24-hour crisis numbers for persons experiencing trauma?
- Are there 24-hour walk-in services?
- Are community mental health centres available, and who do they serve? What are the fees?
- What resources are available among mental health professionals?
- How are referrals made to mental health professionals or the community mental health centre?
- Are mental health professionals trained in basic victim issues, violence prevention and cross-cultural service delivery?

The parameters of substance abuse treatment

- How are services provided to substance abusers in the jurisdiction?

- Are 24-hour crisis services available?

- Are the services of residential treatment centres available at no cost to the abuser? If so, how many beds are available at any one time?

- What is the philosophy of substance abuse treatment?

- What is the range of substance abuse treatment services?

- How are referrals made to treatment facilities?

- Do the substance abuse professionals receive special training in victim issues and providing cross-cultural service delivery?

- What substance abuse prevention programmes exist in the jurisdiction?

- Are there grass-roots or community-based organizations that are fighting drugs and substance abuse? If so, where do they exist?

- What substance abuse prevention programmes are available, for example, school-based, law-enforcement-driven, church-based?

- What elements of substance abuse prevention are addressed?

- Are those involved in substance abuse prevention trained in dealing with victim issues and providing cross-cultural service delivery?

The parameters of medical services

- What kind of services are provided by medical professionals and institutions for victims?

- Are there specialized services for survivors of homicide, catastrophic physical injury, sexual assault or family violence that are offered in local hospitals?

- Have physicians established any special protocols for identifying and responding to family violence victims, victims of child sexual or physical abuse, elderly and disabled victims and victims of sexual assault?

- How are medical emergencies responded to?

- Are there different treatment protocols for dealing with victims who are also substance abusers?

- Do hospital personnel receive special training in responding to victims and substance abusers, and in providing cross-cultural service delivery?

- Are there indigenous or native healers in the jurisdiction who work with victims?

The parameters of the prevention of victimization

- What victimization prevention programmes exist in the jurisdiction?

- Are there grass-roots or community-based organizations that are working to prevent violence? If so, where do they exist?

- Is there a multidisciplinary, community-wide task force addressing victimization prevention strategies?

- What victimization prevention programmes are available, for example, school-based, law-enforcement-driven, church-based?

- What elements of victimization are addressed?

- Are those involved in victimization prevention trained in dealing with victim issues and providing cross-cultural service delivery?

- Are there international monitors that can respond to prevent cases of abuse-of-power victimization?

The parameters of other services

- What other victim services are currently available in the jurisdiction?
- Who do they serve?
- What hours are they available?
- What types of service do they provide?
- Are there eligibility requirements?
- What services need to be provided as part of a comprehensive network?
- What information do they collect and how can this be used to assist victims?

The parameters of the educational system

- Are there special services, curricula, or programmes in the school systems to address victimization, victimization prevention, substance abuse and cross-cultural issues?

- Do the schools involve law enforcement officers in educational programmes concerning substance abuse that are designed for children?

- Are special classes or presentations available for children and adolescents regarding sexual assault, family violence, child abuse and the like?

- Are there special classes dealing with anger management or conflict resolution?

- Are there victim assistance programmes for school staff or victims of school violence?

- Are teachers and counsellors trained in dealing with victims?

The parameters of spiritual support

- Who are the clergy, religious or spiritual leaders in the jurisdiction?

- How do they interact with victims?

- How does their leadership affect victim behaviour and the treatment of victims in the community?

- What sources of support for victims do they offer?

The parameters of social security

- How is social security organized in the jurisdiction?

- Are medical costs automatically covered by a national health service?

- Is loss of income due to victimization covered by public funds or by collective insurance?

- Do the financial costs of permanent disability to work due to a result of a crime have to be borne by the victim?

- Is there public financial support for the next often of homicide victims?

The parameters of private insurance

- What is the level of private insurance in the jurisdiction?

- Are most victims insured against fee financial losses due to frequently occurring crimes such as theft, burglary, arson, etc.?

- Is there a legal obligation to have private insurance for certain risks?

The parameters of informal social support

- Are there family services, cultural groups, indigenous kinship groups or other social support networks that provide additional assistance to victims?

Deciding on the focus of the services to be provided by the programme

- What services are particularly appropriate for the programme?

- On fee basis of resources in fee jurisdiction, what services can be implemented immediately, what services can be implemented one year from now and what services can be implemented at an unspecified time in fee future?

- What services are particularly appropriate for other agencies and which agencies can provide them?

Anticipating issues arising in implementation

- What data will be accessible?
- What cooperation can be expected from other agencies?
- What type of staff will be involved in fee programme (paid and unpaid)?
- What kinds of financial resources can be expected?
- Who may oppose fee institution of victim assistance?
- Does fee location of fee programme assist or limit fee implementation of services?
- Do or will programme logistics assist or limit fee implementation of services

Deciding on the scope of victimization to be covered and on eligibility

- Will the services be restricted to a particular type of victim such as those who have suffered sexual assault, spouse abuse or child abuse, or survivors of homicide?

- Will the services be restricted to a certain number of victims?

- Will the services be restricted to victims who meet certain eligibility requirements such as age, geographical location or income level?

- Do international organizations provide eligibility for abuse-of-power victims when not covered by national laws and policies?

- Since many victims are not aware of victim services or may not seek them for other reasons, what types of outreach programmes can be effective?

Identifying how victims will be provided access to the programme

- Will service providers be called directly by victims?

- Will service providers be called by law enforcement agencies and hospitals to the crime scene or to the location of the victim?

- Will service providers review law enforcement reports and contact victims to offer services?

- How can service providers work with other agencies in order to increase referrals or victim contacts?

Analysing how other agencies can provide services for which the programme is not equipped

- Review the service needs that are not being met;

- Meet with other agencies in order to discuss how they might be able to help meet those service needs;

- Work with other agencies in order to promote additional services and to develop an active referral network for, services;

- Avoid duplication of services or efforts.

The results of the above analysis of programme parameters should be summarized briefly in order to outline the strengths and weaknesses of the jurisdiction's response to victims and to develop a clearly written programme description that addresses programme purposes and the immediate goals of services and strategies for service and identifies the client population to be served by the programme as well as the strategies for inter-agency cooperation.