ICCA Public Policy on Victims of Crime

I. INTRODUCTION

Community corrections professionals are in a unique position to address the needs of crime victims and communities who have been hurt by the offenders they supervise. Offenders have an obligation to restore, to the extent possible, the damage caused by their criminal behavior. Restoration should be an integral part of carrying out justice, extending beyond the individual crime victim to the broader communities that have been disrupted. Community corrections professionals can play a leadership role in making this ideal a reality.

II. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

Victims of crime have the right to be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion; to be involved in the justice process; to be protected from intimidation; and to be provided financial and support services that attempt to restore them to their former position prior to the crime. Community corrections professionals have a responsibility to respect the rights of crime victims as they carry out their primary obligation to manage offenders in their programs.

III. RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Support efforts to include services and programs that meet the needs of crime victims and survivors and protect the rights of crime victims as a component of community corrections practices and programs.
  • Offenders should be held accountable to right the wrongs they have caused. Programs should support the payment of restitution and service to the community.
  • Provide active participation and education of crime victims in the justice system process. Crime victims should be informed about corrections system policies, practices, programs, and supervision.
  • Protect the confidentiality of information provided by crime victims.
  • Promote cross training. Educate crime victims and victim service agencies on correctional practices, and involve correctional staff in victim advocacy activities. Train community corrections professionals on crime victim’s rights, crime victim program services, and the impact of crime and of the criminal justice system on crime victims.
  • Community corrections programs should develop partnerships with community victim assistance services to identify victims of crime, provide assistance, and facilitate the reparation of harm.
  • Victim awareness programming should be provided to help offenders understand the impact their behavior has had on their victims, their families, and their communities.

Reviewed and adopted by the ICCA Board of Directors
Date: September 13, 2014