Victims' Rights in Juvenile Justice

Theresa A. Severance, Eastern Connecticut State University
Alan S. Bruce, Quinnipiac University

Since the early 1980s, a victims' rights movement has emerged, bringing with it social, political, and legal change. While initially focused on the criminal jsutice system, concern over increasing rates of violence among juvenile offenders brought awareness to the rights of their victims. As a direct result of such concern, many states enacted legislation to protect victims' rights in cases with juvenile offenders. In this paper we will trace the evolution of victims;' rights efforts in juvenile justice and identify social and political forces influencing the popularity of this movement. We will also examine the range of accommoations states have made to address victims' rights in juvenile cases and consider the implications of these accommodations in light of the overall goals of juvenile justice.

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Updated 05/20/2006