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All states and the federal government have passed laws to establish a set of victims’ rights. In general, these laws require that victims have certain information, protections, and a limited role in the criminal justice process. Victims’ rights depend on the laws of the jurisdiction where the crime is investigated and prosecuted: state, federal or tribal government, or military installation. Below is a list of basic victims’ rights provided by law in most jurisdictions.
- The right to be treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity.
- The right to be informed.
- The right to protection.
- The right to apply for compensation.
- The right to restitution from the offender.
- The right to prompt return of personal property.
- The right to a speedy trial.
- The right to enforcement of victims’ rights.
A useful information source is VictimLaw, a comprehensive online database on state laws affecting victims.
For a directory of state crime victim compensation Programs, visit the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards.
Visit VINELink for additional victims’ rights information and to register to be notified of your offenders’ custody status changes.