The definition of a victim, under criminal law as well as criminology, is a specified individual who has experienced harm directly and individually by the executor rather than the society (Eduard, 2007). There are different perspectives as to who actually is a victim for instance there are those people who consider victims to be individuals injured in muggings or road accidents while there are those who consider victims to be those soldiers killed in warfare.
For those who are professional criminals, victims are their main focus of exploitation as well as a source of progression. On the other hand, law enforcement as well as judges perceive victims as a reliable source of information as concerns the occurrence of crimes (Ibid, 2007). In general, victims are more often than not perceived to be the recipients of actions who when they finally react, their responses seem to be limited by other people’s demands.
It has been observed that preoccupation of the law together with social sciences having actors as compared to individuals who are acted upon leads to lack of development of a victim concept (Eduard, 2007). Despite the concept of the victim not being included in features of criminal law, each component incorporated in criminal law contains repercussions for the victim. Unfortunately only those acts determined by administrators of the law as a violation of the law can legitimately be punished (Maura & Daniel, 2009). Concern with the concept of the victim is usually avoided by the criminal law relying on the mental state of the executor in trying to determine the legal status of the crime committed.
Since vengeance cannot be obtained lawfully against executors of crime, a number of victims’ assistance programs have come up with the aim of trying to help the victims find legal justice (Eduard, 2007). Crime victims’ programs have come up as being a powerful source of political, legal and social change. These programs came about after the law enforcement and legal authorities were confronted with the increasing rate of victims of crime who received little or no compensation and justice once the crime had been committed (Maura & Daniel, 2009). Victims’ assistance programs aim at assisting victims of crimes deal with the emotional impact of the crime committed against them as well as sort out practical issues that the victims might be facing (Eduard, 2007).
In the past, the court community did not quite understand Problem solving courts unlike today where it refers to majority of the courts found in the United States. Problem-solving courts include mental health courts, homeless courts, family courts, domestic violence courts and drug courts (Eduard, 2007). These courts originally came about as a result of the drug court movement. Problem-solving courts represent a change in the way certain offenders are being handled in the justice system (VAP, 2010). They result in majority of the offenders transforming their behavior to become law abiding individuals leading healthy lives. Incorporated in the criminal justice system is restorative justice which is an ideology emphasizing repairing any harm revealed as a result of criminal behavior (VAP, 2010).
A number of victim assistance programs have been associated with restorative justice for instance, victim offender mediation, community service and restitution. They seek to restore victims and offenders back to being productive members of the society, and at the same time creating opportunities for the executors, victims and community members willing to meet and discuss crime and its aftermath (Eduard, 2007).
All victims who have experienced crime happen to also be potential witnesses. The federal government together with the law enforcement ought to work together and protect these victims by all means necessary to ensure that the fight against crime is well handled, for the sake of the victims themselves and the general community.
Eduard, A. Z. (2007). Criminal Victim. Lost Johnny & Self-Defense Zone, Inc. Web.
Hon. Maura, D. C., and Daniel Becker. (2009). Problem-Solving Courts. Web.
Victim Assistance Program. (2010). Web.