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Influences Within Public Programs

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Influences within Public Programs

Karen Hallman


February 13, 2012

Henry Provencher

Influences within Public Programs


The office of the District Attorney has many programs within their jurisdiction. Today we are going to discuss the Victim of Violent Crimes Program also referred to as Victim Witness Assistance Program. The office of the District Attorney is dedicated to assisting crime victims and forcefully defending individual's civil liberties. Since 1977, VWAP has been giving essential services to victims and witnesses of crimes of viciousness or threat of ferocity in the region ( (Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, 2012).

This program is mandated to relieve trauma and the continually demoralizing effects of crimes of viciousness on the lives of victims, bystanders and their relations. Representatives for this program work in courthouses and police stations throughout Los Angeles County providing a multitude of services to help victims become survivors. There are many sites within the jurisdiction of our county, victims of crime and their families are referred to offices in their area (Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, 2012).

Crime victims have statutory and constitutional rights. Any individual who undergoes direct or threatened physical, emotional or monetary harm as a direct outcome of a crime is commonly known as a victim. Family or next of kin is also considered a victim. Victims have rights they are to be treated with self-respect, be protected from the defendant, not have confidential information divulged , be informed of all proceedings and most of all be given restitution. Victims are protected under these rights by, Victims Bill of Rights Act 2008 Marsys' Law (Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, 2012).


Federal Programs for victims ensures that individuals that have been victims of crimes and witnesses registered in the program are informed within a certain amount of time of a prisoner's admission to or discharge from a correctional facility. In addition; to other proceedings regarding a prisoner change in housing or release (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2012).

The government instituted other acts and guidelines of protection for the nation's citizens in 1982 and 1994. These instructions are to guarantee all police force organizations educate targets and spectators of serious stages in the criminal justice process. Procedures were executed in response to the needs of victims and witnesses. (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2012).

Political, Economical, Social, and Cultural Influences

Political & Economical

In 1983, lawmakers approved (13835.5 PC) "to develop methods to reduce the distress and indifferent treatment that victims and witnesses may go through during the commission of a crime, because often people who become tangled with the law, either as victims or witnesses to crime, are further oppressed by that system." (Nevada County Office of the District Attorney, 2012) With the help of the employees and unpaid workers the District Attorney's Office can help victims with protagonism services and ensure their civil liberties are protected (LACDA, 2009).

Assistances from economists, academic lawyers, political scientists, criminologists, psychiatrists and psychologists are common because they understand the dreadful necessity for these services. What the representatives of the District Attorney's Office do is speak with the individuals to see what help they can deliver. There are no charges to the victims and you do not have to be a citizen.

The Crime Victims Fund created by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, is the chief foundation of funding for many services for crime victims all through the Country. A multitude of monies is allotted to be put into the fund each year from monies collected by various legal offices and prisons. Funding has always come from delinquents imprisoned for federal crimes, gifts, donations, and private parties, not from taxpaying citizens. Previous laws expanded the sources from which Fund deposits may come (Crime Victims Fund, 2012).

Social &Cultural

Rural areas face major economic, geographic, and manpower obstacles that make it challenging to construct, reinforce, or increase victim assistance services. Although they are often contrasted with open space, serenity, a connective community, and solid household principles, rural communities suffer many of the same negative crescendos that urban communities suffer and, in some cases, more extreme. One parent households have grown substantially, as are child bearing to unwed adolescent mothers; education is less among rural inhabitants than among metropolitan residents; rural youth are more likely to quit high school and less likely to return, and rural poverty rates are higher than urban poverty rates (Rural Victim Assistance, 2012). Although there is an array of programs rural area residents lack many public serviced programs. In addition, to lacking of economic growth funds are generally limited to those areas.

Government Interaction

Budget Limits

In 1980, California became the first state to enact state-wide funding for the Victim Assistance Witness Program. These funds come from general revenues. In 1984, the government placed a cap on how much monies could be put into the fund for a period of eight years. In September of 1988, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors totally approved a plan to provide assistance to victims of violence. The board's action allows the program to remain in service for at least another six months. The board also created a committee of eleven that will seek long-lasting funding from the private-sector for the service (Los Angeles Times, 2012).

Over 20 years have gone by since the start of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program. Substantial progress has been made in meeting the needs of crime victims. Many talented legislators and administrators have fostered the growth of this program. However, in any program it has to have sufficient funds to operate to do the greater good. Without proper funds this agency would be limited to the amount of service that it can give a victim. The decrease in funding would mean no shelter for the displaced, not enough staff and qualified individuals to counsel and encourage victims and



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