This is the second of two reports on the evaluation of the National Crime Victim Law Institute's (NCVLI's) victims' rights clinics, which were intended to increase awareness of victims' rights among criminal justice professionals and to respond to violations of rights through legal advocacy.
The current report examined the clinics' impact on the expansion of victims' rights, court officials' attitudes toward victims' rights, the extent to which victims' rights were honored in the criminal disposition process, and the treatment of victims' rights in the print media. There is also a discussion on the sustainability of the clinics. Survey results showed a shift toward more favorable attitudes toward victims' rights and greater compliance with victims' rights by court officials after clinic participation. Changes were small, however, regarding attitudes toward victims' rights, but larger regarding perceptions of compliance with victims' rights. Victims represented by clinic attorneys more often reported that they were notified of defendants' release from jail, that they had made a victim-impact statement, that they were notified of the case disposition; however, they were also less satisfied with the way they were treated by court officials, less satisfied with the court process, and less satisfied with the case outcomes. There was some evidence, albeit inconsistent, that clinics improved the advancement of victims' rights, both in terms of legislation related to victims' rights and in terms of appellate decisions. The evaluation did not find a consistent increase in the number of articles in the print media about victims' rights, nor was a change observed in the proportion of articles sympathetic to victims' rights. Based on their findings, the evaluator's believe that the victims' rights clinics have been somewhat successful in achieving their key goals; however, funding remains a problem. 26 tables, 11 figures, 31 references, and appended evaluation tools
Report (Grant Sponsored)
Date Published: January 1, 2012
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