Victim and Witness Assistance
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Indubitably, the courts in our criminal justice system dedicate the majority of their time and attention to the defendant. He has been accused of a crime and is therefore entitled to a fair and speedy trial. If found guilty, he is confronted with the possibility of incarceration. Therefore, the accused deserves strong emphasis in our system of justice. However, a great inequity exists in this system, an inequity which befalls the victim of a crime. The victim plays a critical role in the state's prosecution of a case but is often callously treated by law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges. One is able to say that a victim is "victimized" twice, a perverse "double jeopardy" of sorts. He is first victimized by the criminal and secondly by the criminal justice system. The crime victim does not deserve a second victimization by the judicial system, rather he deserves recognition and careful assistance due to him during the criminal process. In response to this injustice, a strong national victim and witness assistance movement has emerged in the last decade. The federal government has played a significant role in the promotion of this new attitude. In April, 1982, President Reagan appointed a special Task Force to study victims of crime.If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email email@example.com to request access to this SIP.