Monday, October 20, 2008

New Resources for Victims of Crimes Committed by People with Mental Illness

Last month, the Council of State Governments Justice Center published two guides on the rights of individuals who have been victimized by people with mental illnesses - the first ever national publications on this topic. Both were supported by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

The first, Responding to People Who Have Been Victimized by Individuals with Mental Illnesses, details steps policymakers, advocates, and mental health professionals can take to understand and protect the rights and safety of these crime victims. It reflects the views of forensic directors, prosecutors, victim advocates, and victims of crimes committed by people with mental illnesses. The guide describes current policies and practices used in selected jurisdictions to respond to this group of victims, outlines barriers to upholding victims’ rights in such cases, and highlights action items for communities to consider.

The second report, A Guide to the Role of Crime Victims in Mental Health Courts, offers practical recommendations to mental health court practitioners about how to engage crime victims in case proceedings.

Go to to read the full press releases for each guide.

Learn more and download both resources at Hard copies can be ordered while supplies last through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service at (NCJ 223345).

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