JUDICIAL OFFICERS’ EXPERIENCES OF INCLUDING VICTIM IMPACT REPORTS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS

Adelette Phillips, Zurina Abdulla

Abstract


Judicial officers do not consistently include victim impact reports (VIRS) because of internal and external factors experienced in securing such victim impact reports. This results in the inconsistent inclusion of VIRS during the criminal justice process, which in turn hinders the promotion of victim rights. A qualitative study explored judicial officers’ experiences of including VIRS during the criminal justice process. Findings alluded to the lack of legislation, a gap in the literature and a need for specialised victim services. A need for guidelines was identified to expand on the victim empowerment programme for social workers, enabling them to work within the criminal justice system  and to include VIRS during the criminal justice process.


Keywords


criminal justice system, judicial officers, social workers, specialised victim services, victim empowerment, victim impact reports (VIRS)

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15270/57-1-905

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ISSN 2312-7198  (online) ; ISSN 0037-8054 (print)


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