Prior to beginning work on this assignment, read Steps in a Criminal Case (Links to an external site.), Four Models of the Criminal Process (Links to an external site.), Steps in the Federal Criminal Process (Links to an external site.), Role of the Victim Advocate in the Criminal Justice System (Links to an external site.) and Victim Service Providers in the United States, 2017 (Links to an external site.). Finally, watch the videos from the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University’s Under Arrest-Understanding the Criminal Justice Process in PA (Links to an external site.) Victim advocates seek to provide accurate information about the criminal justice process to victims and detail the victim’s rights from the charging of a crime through conclusion of the criminal case. Your understanding of the criminal justice process and your ability to convey this information in meaningful ways will benefit both the victim and the prosecution. The job of victim advocate requires you not to just provide good news to the victim but also to appropriately explain the protections the criminal justice system provides for the defendant in the case. Obviously, this can be a difficult task, but you must convey balanced information about how the system benefits the victim and the constitutional protections provided to the defendant.
Scenario: You have just begun your first job in the criminal justice system as a victim’s advocate for the prosecutor’s office at your local county. Review the What Is a Victim Advocate? (Links to an external site.) job description for more information.
You have been assigned Virginia Sufferer as your first person to guide through the criminal justice process from beginning through trial. She was the victim of an alleged burglary at her place of residence. Defendant Accused was arrested by warrant after Sufferer picked him out of a line up after seeing him leaving her apartment on the day of the burglary. Accused was known to the police for his prior arrests and convictions for the sale of narcotics. Police searched his home when they served the arrest warrant and found two pieces of jewelry that belonged to Sufferer. Accused was interrogated at the police station and did not admit to the crime. When questioning began at the police station, Accused asked to speak to a lawyer, but no attorney was provided.
You will present a paper that details the entire criminal justice process for a felony criminal charge for Ms. Sufferer’s benefit to understand what to expect as her case moves through the system. Make sure that you explain how the system seeks to balance effectiveness of the system, in your opinion, and provide her with your opinions on how the system can be improved.
In your paper,
-Summarize all of the steps between arrest, pre-trial, trial, and appeals for the victim.
-Explain to Ms. Sufferer the contingencies for each stage of the proceedings.
Address all possible outcomes.
-Analyze the constitutional protections that Accused’s lawyer may be able to use as a defense at each stage of the proceeding.
-Evaluate for the victim both the effectiveness of the system in dealing with criminal prosecutions
-Express your ideas for changes or improvements to the system.
Provide Ms. Sufferer your recommendations to make the system fairer for all those involved.