Perspective Of Either The Offender Criminology Essay

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An offender is an accused defendant who is convicted of a serious crime and who is set to appear before the criminal court. There are 37.2 offenders in total in Ireland. 38.1% of them are male and 32% of them are female. There are 53.6% of people aged under 18 who commit crimes. 33.5% of offenders get community service and 39.3% are out on a type of probation order. The most impressive statistic was that 63% of offenders did not re-offend within two years. [2] 

A victim is someone who has been harmed or affected by an offence caused by another person. Victims of violent crime may suffer financial stress as well as suffering from their injuries and emotional trauma. Recovering from violence or abuse can have effect on them for the rest of their lives as they could live in fear and suffer anxiety. Many people are surprised at just how emotional they feel after a crime. These strong emotions can, in turn, make you feel even more unsettled and confused. People around you, such as friends, partners and children, are also likely to be affected. They may feel similar emotions to yours, as well as concern for you. Although, at the same time many people find that others around them expect them to just 'get over it'. This is not always helpful if what you really want to do is to talk about how you feel. [3] 

For this essay we have chosen to talk about the victim as we think the victim suffers the most physically and emotionally. The victim of a crime can need counselling to help them come to terms with their emotions and fears.

Discussion

There are many different ways a person can be a victim. Someone can be a victim for anything from a minor crime up to a major crime. Examples of where someone can be a victim are from theft, robbery, burglary, assault, dangerous driving, sexual offences, murder and manslaughter and human trafficking. [4] In many cases of crime it is not just the victim that can be affected, their family can also be affected, more so in the major crime cases of dangerous driving, sexual offences, murder and manslaughter.

As we previously mentioned, there are many types of victims when it comes to crime, and usually the person's role within, and there perspective of the criminal justice system will change depending of the circumstances of each case. For example somebody pressing charges for something minor such as vandalism is going to expect far less drastic results than say somebody who has been the victim of rape. Also we noted that there was a staggering amount of rape crime actually reported in this country, The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre recorded 11,839 calls to their helplines, with over 9,000 of them being genuine, so when we realised the problem that exists with rape in this country we decided we would use rape cases as the main focal point of our group paper. [5] 

Rape cases can differ a lot from another type of case .For example while trials in general take place in public in our state, rape cases will be held in camera, so as to protect the victim's anonymity. In some serious cases as well such as rape, arrangements may be made so that the accused does not have to appear in court along with the accused, and may instead be allowed to give evidence via a video link from another area of the courts. [6] 

In rape cases this would be of particular benefit to the victim, who due to the sensitive nature of the crime and the traumatic experience they have already been through may find the prospect of having to come face to face with their attackers in the courtroom too daunting and not be able for it.

Report the crime

The victim should report the crime to the police as soon as the crime has occurred. When a victim reports a crime quite quickly after the crime has occurred it allows the police to gather any evidence that may fade over time. Prompt reporting will support the victim's account of what happened. Many victims of sexual assault are unsure whether they want a case to be prosecuted. Victims who are unsure about prosecution are advised to seek information about guidance to make an informed decision. For example, even if the victim is not ready to prosecute immediately after the crime, prosecutors have at least six years or more to file sexual assault charges. It is important to note that even if a crime is not immediately reported, that prosecution may still be possible. A delay in reporting is typical for safety reasons. [7] The role of a victim is extremely important in the Criminal justice system. They must go through a number of stages in the criminal trial process in order to feel justice was served. The first stage is actually reporting the crime. This can be difficult for many as there are a number of doubts in their minds. Such as trust in the gardai, recount the details etc. 'It estimated in 2007 that "about 30 per cent" of burglaries were unreported, as were nearly four in 10 incidents of theft with violence. Offences of a sexual nature and domestic violence are "grossly under-recorded" [8] This is astonishing and very worrying for our criminal justice system.

Preserve of evidence

If a crime is reported, the police will gather and keep all of the evidence from the crime, which includes: bloodstained clothing, bedding, weapons and damage to property. The police will also take photographs of injuries, damage to property and also photographs of where the crime occurred. Photographs should also be taken of the victims injuries after the crime to show the stages of healing.

Testify

If the case proceeds to trial, victims should expect to testify.

Adult victims: Testimony before the grand Jury is less formal than in a courtroom setting. The grand Jury proceedings are not open to the public. The offender is not present. There is no judge and no defence lawyer. The prosecutor asks the victim questions about the crime to establish what happened. The testimony usually takes less than an hour.

Testifying at trial is more formal. The victim waits outside the courtroom until it is their turn to testify. The prosecutor is the first to ask questions. When the prosecutor is finished, the defence attorney cross-examines the victim. The judge makes sure that the questions asked by the attorneys are appropriate according to legal rules. The length of trial testimony varies depending upon the case and the evidence. The prosecuter helps prepare the victim for the types of questions that could be asked of them and to review the rules of the court. The victim witness advocate will help the victim anticipate what feelings the experience of testifying may evoke and helps provide support in advance of, and during their trial. The majority of criminal prosecutors are resolved without a trial because the defendant pleads guilty.

Child Victims: If the victim of a crime is a child and there is a trial, the child will likely have to testify. Young children are asked questions by a judge. The judge has to be satisfied that the child is able to recall and relate facts about what happened and understand the oath all witnesses must take to tell the truth. Although the surroundings of a courtroom and confronting the defendant can be intimidating, testifying can also be an impact to the process to the healing of a child. [9] 

Pressing charges

Some victims may personally know the suspect that committed the crime against them. Some may be related such as a mother and son relationship. In this case it is hard for the victims to choice between seeking justice and doing what is best for both the criminal and themselves.

Going to court

The next stage the victim goes through is the court case. This is undoubtedly the most daunting experience for the victim. Particularly for child abuse cases and rape cases. In the case of Frances Andrade, she subsequently killed herself after giving evidence in court. She said it felt like 'getting raped all over again'. She was sexually abused by her music teacher when she was in school. When it came around to giving evidence she felt that recounting the details in a court atmosphere was worse for her than the rape itself. Andrade killed herself the day after she heard her abuser giving his side of the story. However, some may say that by allowing the victim giving evidence they feel that they are participating in seeking justice for themselves.

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