Understanding more about crime assistance programs
The crimes involve different types which affect a family, business, individuals, children, women, etc. Several countries today face several problems due to the increasing crime rates and they are implementing strict laws to control them. There are various factors responsible for crimes that result in violence, murder, molestation, rape, extortion, and other problems.
Statistics on crimes
A recent study reveals that homicide crimes are high in both developed and developing countries. Here is a recent statistics data released by certain agencies that made a complete study on crimes.
- The number of criminal incidents increased up to 2.0 % in the US compared to the previous year 2018
- The number of offences have gone up to 2.6%
- Alleged offender incidents increased up to 6.9%
- The number of crime victims who reported to the police increased by 0.4 %
- Family violence and domestic violence increased up to 8.0 %
- Assault and related offence have gone up to 3.6%
- Theft crimes increased up to 5 %
- Deception cases have gone up to 10 %
- Drug use and possession cases increased up to 12%
- Weapon and explosion offences increased up to 9%
- Harassment and threatening cases increased up to 11%
- Use of weapons and explosive offences increased up to 10%
- Robbery crimes increased up to 7%
How can crime affect a victim?
Crimes can affect victims in different ways. They will suffer from injuries, financial loss, depression, stress, trauma, anxiety, and other problems. It is really a difficult one to recover from them and victims should seek medical advice for reducing the problems.
Some injuries caused by crimes are a life threatening one and the effects can exist for a long time. In fact, it takes more days to cope with the horrific crimes and the victims will behave differently. Most victims will feel angry or become upset after experiencing a crime.
There are some victims who always blame themselves for the crimes or feel embarrassed that will result in various problems. Many victims will stay away from social gatherings and other events.
Crime victims require support from friends, family and surroundings for enhancing their overall health. Moreover, they need medical treatment for injuries and other problems to live a trouble-free life.
Recovering from crime acts
Nowadays, there are several recovery programs available for crime victims enabling them to focus more on their lives. However, it is necessary to evaluate them with special attention that can help to know more details. They aim at helping crime victims when they are in need of support including finance.
In fact, they offer solutions for those who want to protect their individual rights when it comes to crimes. The recovery programs also play an important role in enhancing the living standards of crime victims after evaluating their backgrounds and other things.
What is a victim assistance program?
A victim assistance program is mainly meant for crime victims allowing them to get legal support from professional advocates to develop a plan that exactly suits them. Moreover, they will advocate victims about everything in detail including the benefits.
The victim assistance programs are a suitable one for crime victims to address their physical and psychological needs. Apart from that, they provide opportunities for reintegrating into the society as soon as possible.
Another thing is they assist crime victims to get compensation for injuries and expenses caused by the crimes. A victim assistance program offers following services for individuals based on their needs.
- Working with the victims to submit statements to police and court
- Arranging additional support to victims such as counselling, therapeutic services, medical treatment, and solicitors
- Explaining about the criminal justice system to victims
- Representing the cases of victims at court
- Assigning a manager or volunteer to manage the effects of crimes
- Contacting victims by email or phone after reporting a case to police
- Exploring the eligibility for a victim compensation program
- Addressing the requirements of crime victims
- Informing victims about their rights and options for availing services accordingly
There are many states that passed the victim’s bill of rights in order to educate victims about the crimes. Crime victims should understand them in detail before applying for a compensation program. The crime victim’s Rights act covers the following things.
- Treating a crime victim with fairness and respect to ensure more privacy. Making sure that a victim is free from intimidation, abuse, harassments, and other problems.
- Getting protection from the accused criminals and persons who support them.
- Allowing victims to make a statement during the court proceedings.
- Ensuring the safety of victims and their family.
- The right to determine the amount of bail and release conditions of criminals.
- Refusing the requests made by a defendant with regard to interview, deposition, and other things.
- Establishing the restitution laws.
- Having the rights to know the parole’s proceedings and making a statement to a parole board.
- Seeking compensation for injuries and other problems from states which cover funds for victims.
- Enforcing the rights of victims in court proceedings.
- Noticing all public proceedings including any delinquency proceeding.
- Ensuring the return of a property when there is no need for evidence.
- Knowing details of a defendant with regard to conviction, sentence, escape from a custody, and release date.
- Working with a probation department official to provide information about the impacts of the offense to conduct a pre-sentence investigation.
- To speed up the trail proceedings in the court to know the final conclusion of a case and other related things.
- Requesting restitution from a defendant based on the losses
Most victim assistance programs run on fees and charges which are paid by offenders. On the other hand, they don’t compensate crime victims fully because they should satisfy certain requirements in order to qualify for a program.
In many cases, these programs have an officer or multiple employees who work closely with the victims to understand more about their rights in detail. It is necessary to submit the documents to a prosecuting attorney or to the probation department while claiming the compensation.
Who qualifies for victims of crime?
Anyone who is facing financial loss due to a crime is eligible to apply for the crime victim assistance program. On the other hand, it is advisable to get guidelines from a program officer before applying for compensation.
Those who are a direct victim of violent crimes are generally eligible for compensation. At the same time, there are some states that compensate only for the physical injuries while some others compensate victims for traumatization who are not injured physically by a crime.
The victim assistance programs cover compensation for a primary victim, secondary victim, and related crime. However, the compensation laws may vary from one state to another state in a country.
A primary victim is a person, who dies or gets injured as a result of a crime such as violence and other things. A secondary victim is a person who is being present at the place of a violent crime and witnessing the same directly. He or she may get injuries as a result of a crime when trying to protect a person.
A related victim is a close family member of a deceased primary victim who is being present at the crime site. He or she should have an intimate personal relationship with the deceased primary victim such as a spouse, parent, sister, brother, guardian, etc.
Victims should know the eligibility requirements before applying for a program and they include:
- A victim must be a resident of the same state in a country or other state which don’t cover a program
- The victims should report the crimes to a law enforcement agency and cooperate with the investigation process
- A victim should apply for a claim within 3 years from the date of a crime
- Crime victims shouldn’t give false information to a program and they should be either a victim or claimant
- Not committed any illegal activities at the time of a crime or not have been involved in serious misconduct
- Not covered by insurance plan, worker’s compensation or Medicaid
A crime assistance program covers compensation for the following crimes.
- Human trafficking
- Sexual offenses
- Family violence
- Bombs and explosives
- Elder abuse
- Child abuse
- Sale of harmful substances to minors
- Domestic violence
How much do crime victims get?
A crime victim assistance program will pay compensation for counseling, funeral or burial expenses, medical costs, dental expenses, lost wages, and so on. Nowadays, the programs are paying compensation to more victims by collecting money from the offenders.
However, they may vary from one state to another state in a country. The programs cover compensation for a variety of expenses and losses caused by injuries or other things. There are some states which grant funds to victims apart from offender fines.
The compensation amounts range from $ 10,000 to $ 1, 00,000 enabling victims to achieve their goals in life. On the other hand, some programs have limitations on certain types of expenses.
Since it may take several weeks and months to receive the compensation, some states offer amounts for emergency services starting from $ 500 t0 $ 1000 to cover medical expenses and other things.
How long does it take to get victims compensation?
Getting the compensation for crimes may take long time because victims should submit their application to a tribunal. It will study everything including the investigation and other outcomes of a case. In addition, the tribunal will evaluate the claims made by victims with special attention. Sometimes, it requires some more evidence or documents which support a claim.
The tribunal will provide opportunities for victims to file the documents quickly. It is the responsibility of victims to know the status of an application after completing the submission process.
Besides that, the tribunal will enter the details into an electronic database after finalizing the claim. A copy of the notification will be sent to a victim or their legal representative. In most cases, a victim will receive the compensation from 12 to 18 months.
On the other hand, it depends entirely on the nature of case and complex issues involved in it and the level of compensation. High value compensation may take much longer to settle and victims will receive an “interim payment “for managing the expenses.
There are some claims which are more complex that need more information from police or medical experts. It may take minimum 4 to 6 weeks to get approval from a tribunal after filing a claim.
It will generally make the payments directly into a bank account through NEFT transfer. In addition, the tribunal will send cheques to victims by post. Applicants should make sure that they have provided correct address to receive the cheque without any delay.
Victims should approach a nearest tribunal when they want to claim amounts for injuries and other problems. A tribunal may refuse to make an award for a claim when a crime is not reported to police department within in a reasonable time.
Therefore, victims should report the crime in quick turnaround time for receiving the claim without any difficulties. A tribunal will also evaluate the character of an applicant including past criminal activities. Apart from that, it will consider the age of victim when a crime happens in a place.
The tribunal don’t cover financial expenses for property damages and cybercrimes including identity thefts. Victims should understand the type of coverage in detail before filing an application. This will help a lot to get compensation as soon as possible to witness peace of mind.
How to file a compensation claim?
Filing a compensation claim is not an easier process and victims should consider seeking support from legal experts for avoiding complex issues. Many law firms offer consultation services for victims to make compensations a simple one. One can even apply for a claim to a tribunal online with supporting documents and they will be reviewed soon. It is necessary to know more about the laws and other things before filing an application. CWP
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By John Young