U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Responses to Victimisation - Compensation for Acts of Criminal Violence (From Psychology, Law and Legal Processes, P 111-122, 1979, by D P Farrington, et al - See NCJ - 70738

NCJ Number
D Miers
Date Published
12 pages
Factors producing victim compensation schemes, a model of the victim projected by such schemes, and how the British victim compensation scheme deals with the victim model in practice are discussed.
Victim compensation schemes emerged in a number of countries in the 1960's as a result of the politicization of the crime victim. Through media pressure and the influence of public officials, victims of crime were viewed as having political potential. Victims came to be viewed as an identifiable group against which outrages had been committed for which no institutionalized procedures existed for alleviating loss. Thus, a demand arose that victims be treated as socially and economically disadvantaged persons worthy of government aid. Further, previous government indifference to the victim of crime was magnified by government outlays for the rehabilitation and benefit of the offender. The model of the victim who is to receive compensation is that of a person who has experienced undeserved suffering and loss resulting from a senseless criminal act, such that the scales of moral justice are placed out of balance. Under such a victim model, the British compensation scheme aims at providing for altruistic and innocent victims who have suffered from violent crimes, while victims deemed delinquent are not conpensated. Altruistic victims are given special consideration by not deducting from any compensation additional rewards received for heroic acts associated with the victimization. Innocent victims are compensated because there is not 'just' reason for their suffering. Delinquent victims, on the other hand, are not compensated, because their deviant lifestyle placed them in such a moral position that victimization was to be expected and even deserved (e.g., a prostitute beaten by a pimp or a drunk mugged). For related documents, see NCJ70738-41 and 70743-48. Notes and nine references are provided.


No download available