Improving confidence in criminal justice: achieving community justice for victims and witnesses

Jacki Tapley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


One of the most profound influences upon criminology and criminal justice policy during the last two decades has been the significant shift in emphasis from an offender-focused criminal justice system to the unprecedented focus now being placed upon the victims of crime. Whilst two centuries ago victims of crime were the main protagonists in criminal matters, the emergence of a complex modern criminal justice system resulted in the overriding issues of deterrence, detection, prosecution, punishment and reform of the offender usurping the once prominent role of the victim. The rise in the professional administration of criminal justice by judges, lawyers, the police and criminal experts, led to a decline in the role of the victim in criminal proceedings, with the concerns of the wider public interest subsuming the more particular needs of the victim (Christie 1977, Fattah 1986). As a consequence, the relationship between the offender and the state came to dominate all developments in criminal justice prosecution, punishment and rehabilitation, to the exclusion of the relationship between the victim and the state (Ashworth 1983).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunity justice: issues for probation and criminal justice
EditorsJane Winstone, Francis Pakes
Place of PublicationCullompton
PublisherWillan Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781843921288
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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