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Of the lasting effects after a victimization, a common denominator is the cost of services needed to heal from the harm caused. Since 2002, all states and territories in the United States have fully developed victim compensation programs to provide aid to victims in combating the financial impacts after a crime. The Victims of Crime Act and the Office for Victims of Crime have created requirements and suggestions for states to follow within their compensation programs. Unfortunately, there is no federal authority enforcing these requirements or ensuring consistency in state statutes surrounding victim compensation. Although there are multiple rationales as to why victim compensation should be offered, the states and territories lack agreeance and regularity. To be sure, this study sought to determine how much divergence was present in current statutes for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A content analysis was conducted to identify similarities and differences in statutes regarding the number and type of crimes covered, eligibility criteria, areas in which compensation can be applied, fiscal limits for each area, and the application and appeal processes. In terms of comprehension, the findings revealed that New York and D.C. had the most robust compensation program that had the fewest restrictions for eligibility and covered the majority of crimes and areas in which compensation could be applied. Conversely, Pennsylvania and Arkansas scored the lowest and had the least inclusive statutes. Recommendations for future research and practice are discussed.


victim compensation

Available for download on Monday, July 22, 2024