The enactment of the first State bill of rights for crime victims in Wisconsin in 1980 ushered in an era of dramatic progress in the area of victim rights, and the passage of the Federal Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982 and the release of the final report of the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime brought national prominence to crime victim concerns.
The broad agenda established in the task force's final report for implementing victim rights and services and many of the report's 68 recommendations are highlighted. The recommendations pertain to such areas as the right of victims to notice of public court proceedings, the right of victims to be present throughout public court proceedings, victim-prosecutor consultation, the right of victims and witnesses to reasonable protection, restitution, the right of victims to a full range of services and support, truth-in-sentencing reform, protection from adverse employer actions for victims who miss work to participate in the criminal justice process, victim impact statements, victim ombudsman programs, victim participation in military and tribal court proceedings, and the inclusion of victim rights in introductory and continuing education for criminal and juvenile justice professionals. Federal and State initiatives to expand victim rights are reviewed. The task force proposal for a Federal victim rights constitutional amendment and rights for victims of juvenile offenders are discussed. 117 endnotes
Date Published: January 1, 1998
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