Running head: CORRECTION AND VICTIMS’ RIGHTS 1 Correctionand Victims’ RightsNameProfessorCourseInstitutionDate
Victimsof crime are entitled to certain liberties that facilitate a smoothdue process. The Crime Victims Act protects them from the accusedpersons. It requires the parties perpetuating the case to inform themof court appearances within a reasonable time. The Act grants them achance to appear in court and during the determination of their caseswithout unnecessary delays (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2015). Thesepreclusive measures significantly shield victims from possiblecontravention of their rights. Protection from the accused personscushions them from retaliatory attacks from crime perpetrators.
Besides,not all offenders comply with the regulations set by security organs.Some may find their way out of the holding cells, and they may pose adanger to the individuals who sued them. Informing the victims offleeing felons protects them from ambushes (Federal Bureau ofPrisons, 2015). Their presence in court allows them the chance to beheard by the jury and to be cross-examined by the lawyers.Consequently, the verdict is fully informed with first-handinformation. The Act is, therefore, an indispensable protectivestrategy for the victims of villainy.
Thevictim impact statements help in expressing the victims’ feelingsin situations demanding sentencing, parole or criticaldecision-making. It helps in decrying to the parole or the court thesignificance or weight that a crime has on their daily lives. It alsooutlines the financial, psychological and the physical harm sufferedfrom the crime in question (Legal Information Institute, 2015).Furthermore, the statements largely affect the due process. Therationale for this is that the presiding judge can use theinformation to determine the appropriate punishment for the offender.The parole board may also use the information to determine whetherthe offender qualifies for exoneration and the specific conditions toaccompany their decision. It also gives satisfaction to the accuserssince they share their emotional and physical concerns with thecourt.
Thesubjects of a crime have the right to information on the proceedingof a case, as well as, attending the court sessions (LegalInformation Institute, 2015). The Crime Victims Act allows them andtheir families to be present during the hearing, sentencing, orparole. They can also opt to receive information from a third party.The right to attend has more impact than the liberty to accessinformation on the proceedings. The hypothesis for this is that, whenthe victims are present, they get in touch with the setting and theenvironment in the court. They can read the mood of the jury andlisten to the arguments of their lawyers. In the process, they mightnotice any inconsistencies that may be present in the informationgiven to their lawyers. During the court recess, they can approachtheir counsels and clarify any poorly construed statements.
Conversely,when they are only informed of testimonies given in court, they maynot give supportive information on time. The rationale for this isthat some legal representatives and court officials may overlookvital information that they may consider insignificant to thevictims. However, the information may be of interest to the victims.Furthermore, observing the mood of the jury may help in predictingtheir verdict.
a)“Our job is not to punish.”
Theprimary role of the correctional facilities in the United States isnot to castigate, but rehabilitate offenders. Therefore, thestructure and operations of the prisons are modified to support thecorrection of offenders without exposing them to situations thatdegrade their dignity. The statement guides the professional conductof the officers. Moreover, it guides the training of facilities’officers. It is an imperative tool for upholding ethics in during thecorrection program since the officers cannot act beyond what the lawstipulates. Any action perpetrated by an officer that audaciouslyrebuts this regulation becomes misconduct.
b)Legal liability issues
Whenoutlining their mode of operation, correctional facilities observethe law outlined in the bill of rights. The regulations ensure thatthe prison activities do not crash with those of other government andprivate institutions (Ward & Salmon, 2009). The statement is aprimary tool for ethical consideration since it acquaints officerswith inherent rights of the convicts.
c)“The rules do not apply.”
Individualsworking in holding facilities work for the best interest of theinmates. According to Ward and Salmon (2009), the programs are alsocustomized to cater for the welfare and achievement of a standardrehabilitation environment. The activities, therefore, do not entaillengthy bureaucracies and procedural measures. It is ethical becausethe undertakings are aimed at the optimal behavior change of theinmates.
Policymakerscan implement several methods to ensure that the correctional staff,administrators, parole, and probation officers adhere to the ACA codeof ethics. The approaches include:
Theprobity of the staff in the facilities is a primary factor thatcompels them to deliver quality services that are compliant with theACA code of ethics. The stakeholders should identify gaps inknowledge and develop strategies to address the insufficiencies(American Counseling Association, 2014). Such acquaintance ensuresthat only the qualified officers attend to the inmates. The knowledgealso makes them liable for any conduct that contradicts the ACAprovisions.
Thenon-interrupted flow of information within the correction, training,and policymaking institutions is paramount for the enforcement ofethics. According to American Counseling Association (2014),achieving total compliance with the values can only be experiencedwhen all the stakeholders are duly informed. Besides, situations thatrequire making critical decisions in the facilities necessitatecommunicating them to all the stakeholders. Sharing ideas within thefacilities can also strengthen the observance of the ethics.
Inmost cases, people do not heed to the needs of the victims’ afterthey suffer the consequences of an offense. This is evident by thepublicity that felons get while the victims wait for the verdict ofthe court. Sometimes, the gruesome legal procedures may demoralizetheir participation in the due process. Allowing them to have a voicehas various benefits.
First,the victims are best placed to give first-hand information concerningvarious misdemeanors. In addition, their emotions and impactstatements may influence the decision of the jury. Their voice allowsthem to give an account from their uninfluenced points of view. Thecriminal justice system has transformed immensely, and victims’voices are no longer deterred.
Inaddition, having the platform to air their opinions allows them tohave a say in an appellate review as outlined in the Criminal VictimsRights’ Act (Legal Information Institute, 2015). After theconclusion of a case, the victims derive satisfaction for beingactively involved (Legal Information Institute, 2015). The principalgoal of the judicial system is to ensure evenhandedness in all cases.Giving the sufferer a platform for expression fulfills this purpose.
AmericanCounseling Association. (2014). ACAcode of ethics: As approved by the ACA Governing Council, 2005.Alexandria: American Counseling Association.
FederalBureau of Prisons. (2015).Resources For Victims & Witnesses.Retrieved from https://www.bop.gov/resources/victim_resources.jspLegalInformation Institute. (2015). 18 U.S. Code § 3771 – Crime victims’rights. Retrieved fromhttps://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3771
Ward,T., & Salmon, K. (2009). The ethics of punishment: Correctionalpractice implications. Aggressionand Violent Behavior,14(4),239-247.