Victim and Crime Evaluation
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The Criminal Justice system today is our scale of judgment. It plays a major part in how we live and how we continue to live among all the dangers, evil and corruption that surrounds us. Without it there wouldn`t be the fine line of right and wrong, there wouldn`t be justice. Those that are considered victims in our criminal justice would turn and become the aggressors and the criminals if we didn`t have a Legal System, and we would live in a world of chaos. Many individuals each have a role to play in our Criminal Justice System; there are the criminal and the victims who create the unfortunate events to which justice has to be served and then there are the defense attorneys and the prosecutors who do their best to upload the justice system and make sure that justice is served. What are the goals of sentencing associated?
A defense attorney is a hired contractor, charged with representing individuals or entities in criminal or civil matter. People and organization facing criminal charges or being sued civilly hire a defense attorney to ensure their legal rights are properly protected and guide them through the legal counsel, is ethically and professionally required to watch over only the interest of his clients, within the boundaries of the law. He is legally and morally considered an “officer of the court,” and is required to refrain from lying or misrepresenting the facts of the case. Being charged with a crime or sued civilly is often the most distressing situation a person will face. Defense attorneys must be adept at dealing with the highly charged emotions of his clients, utilizing psychology and basic people skills to keep them focused, rational, and willing to listen to his informed counsel. The attorney must abide by the wishes and decisions of his client, but it is legal counsel`s job to assist them in understanding the ramifications of all decisions and the likely outcome.
In the United State today, there is no standard when it comes to punishment and sentencing. This area of the criminal justice system is one that is in constant flux. Sentencing practices and goals are always under scrutiny. From “getting tough on crimes” to more rehabilitative approaches, the views and goals of sentencing are ever changing. Since time began, there was crime and with crime came the need to punish criminals. How criminals were punished and the methods behind the punishments changed throughout the times. Standards of punishment moved from banishment and fines to torture and “blood feunds.”(Siegel & Senna, 2005). A more organized system of punishment came forth with the formation of Common Law which was brought over to the United State from England.
With the development of a system, there was a move away from physical punishment towards methods more acceptably used yet today in the United States. “Today there is many things criminal justice system aims to do by imposing punishments and sentences goals of punishment have moved from satisfying the victims, as in early days, to move of a broad scale. There are theories on how punishment and sentencing may serve to reduce crime as a whole. General and specific deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, retribution, and reformation are just some of these goals.”(Siegal & Senna, 2005).
Victim input into sentencing decisions is most keeping with the objective of restitution, which places the victim and what the victim has suffer at the centre of the sentencing process. It is also reflects the common sense perspective that it is the victim who has suffered so his or her views should count. (Role of Victim). Examinations of the role of the victim in sentencing often focus on the assessment and awarding of compensation, often through an agreement between the victim and the offender. Victim participaticipation in the sentencing process may, never the less, have goals additional to, or quite different from, compensation or reconciliation. Victim may seek to ensure that the court and the offender are aware of the impact the offence has had on them. They may seek to ensure that the offender is properly punished that opportunities for rehabilitation and forgiveness are provided, or to make certain that they and others are protected from further harm from the offender. (Role of Victims). What are the goals of alternative sanction?
In courts across the country, judges, prosecutors, and defense attorney have to balance the need for offender punishment deterrence, rehabilitation, and public safety with the reality of overcrowded prisons, incarceration coast while ensuring that the punishment fits the crime. (Alternative Sentencing & Strategies). This balance often means that traditional sentences are not appropriate for some offenders and traditional sentences may even be determental to the offender and society. Therefore alternative sentencing programs have been implemented across the country in various forms. Some of the synonyms used across the country for alternative sentencing are community corrections, community justice, community based sanction, discretionary sentencing, restorative justice, drug court, non incarcerative punishments. Of these project types have one thing in common. They are attempts to offer the best solutions to offenders so they will not re offend, thus providing a service to society and the individual. (Alternative Sentencing & Strategies). Recommendation regarding victim’s right.
Conduct a comprehensive, statewide needs assessment to document crime victim`s rights violation and to further asses the experiences of crime victims interactions with the criminal justice system and services provides. Establish and fund, through legislative action, a crime right ombudsman to investigate claims that an entity has violated a crime victim rights. Documents finding in a report to the subject entity and the victim. In case in which rights are violated, the report will include recommendation to correct errors and improve responses to victims. Recommended remedies may include development of policies and procedures and other measures necessary to prevent future violations. Conclusion
In the end when an individual commits an act of violence on another, not only is an innocent individual becoming victimized but so are society members, the criminal justice systems, and the wrongdoer. Before a professional means existed to deal with criminals, individuals and society members would take it upon themselves to deal with the situation in an informal but swift manner. With modernization came sophisticated ideas, the development of a legal system, and a formal way to deal with criminals. Today criminals are punished with the use of intermediate sanctions and community base correction. Restorative justice is just one method of punishment used that allows the judicial systems the opportunity to rehabilitate an offender and the victims. Everyone becomes a victim when an individual’s decides to commit a crime.
Siegel, L.J., Senna, J.J. (2005). Introduction to Criminal Justice tenth edition. Alternative Sentencing & Strategies for Successful Prison Retrieved () from www.mosac.mo.gov /file.jsp? Id =45353
The Role of Victims in Sentencing Retrieved () from
www.justice.govt.nz /…/9. – The – role – of – victim – in sentencing