Effects of State Victim Rights Legislation on Local Criminal Justice Systems


All fifty states, as well as the federal government, now have victim rights legislation prescribing how victims should be treated. In many cases, rights to information about court events, bail release decisions, compensation, and restitution are standard. In spite of great strades that have been made in law, research studies indicate that many victims do not find their new rights honored in practice. Our research investigated these concerns. We systematically examined the extent to which victim rights laws have burdened the resources of prosecutors and other criminal justice agencies and affected the speed with which cases are resolved and certain dispositions reached.