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Contemporary Responses By The Criminal Justice System Towards Victims And Witnesses Of Crime - Essay Example

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It is largely presumed that a sound criminal justice system is dependent on the formulation of stringent and appropriate laws that take into account all possible avenues of meting out justice (Davies, Francis and Greer, 2008). However, the existence of laws and policies alone…
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Contemporary Responses By The Criminal Justice System Towards Victims And Witnesses Of Crime
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Download file to see previous pages The accuracy, quality and quantity of the evidence provided by the victims or the witnesses play a crucial role in developing the case and the ultimate outcome of the investigations (Davis et al., 2007). This paper evaluates if the criminal justice system agents need to take into account the background and perspectives of the victims or the witnesses. It discusses the related research background and evaluates available evidence on the importance of including the witness background and perspectives. It starts with a discussion on sensitivity to emotive and cognitive processing style, expectations and ethnic perspectives of witnesses.
A large amount of research and scholarly work has been undertaken on the subject of criminal justice system’s sensitivity (or lack of it) toward the victims or the witnesses. This ‘sensitivity’ is, however, studied from the point of view of the victims or the witnesses. The underlying theme is that the criminal justice system officials may inadvertently indulge in a further ‘victimization’ of the witnesses/victims during their investigations (Goodey, 2005). This is attributed to a plausible lack of empathy with the witness and the focus of the officials on getting the crime solved (Mawby and Walklate, 1994). As such, much research has gone into developing programs for educating the criminal justice system agents in being humane, patient and empathic to the victims (Lamb et al., 2008).For example, a research by Bollingmo, Wessel,  Eilertsen and Magnussen (2008) found that police officers tend to undermine the credibility of victims’ accounts if the victim appears to be calm and controlled and does not look harassed or desperate. However, it is more of a personality issue that some people may remain relatively calm under duress while others may become desperate with even little discomfort (Maguire and Pointing, 1988). But the investigating officers’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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