Response of the Criminal Justice System to Victims of Corporate Crime

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With the use of at least 3 real life stories reported in newspapers, discuss the response of the Northern Ireland Criminal Justice System to victims of corporate crime. There is no time limit on the stories and they may be accessed via the internet.

Within this essay I will look to discuss victims of corporate crimes experiences within the Criminal Justice System. In order to do this I will first define the Criminal Justice System and then corporate crime. I will then address the task by using 3 real life stories about victims’ experiences of the operation of the Northern Ireland Criminal Justice System.

The Criminal Justice System (CJS) is a series of practices and institutions that are used “to deliver justice for all, by convicting and punishing the guilty and helping them to stop offending, while protecting the innocent. It is responsible for detecting crime and bringing it to justice; and carrying out the orders of court, such as collecting fines, and supervising community and custodial punishment” (

In criminology, corporate crime refers to ‘crimes committed by corporations, or by influential individuals within corporations, where the illegal act is carried out with the intentions of furthering the goals of that organisation.’ (Newburn. 2007. 946-947)

Experiences within the criminal justice system are undoubtedly going to vary with each person’s own experiences and perception. Some may hold the view that it is a just and worthwhile organisation while others will not share the same optimism. For example, there is an article in the Belfast Telegraph about the rape in Colin Glen Forest Park. The incident took place on the 12 April 2008. The article shows the complete dissatisfaction and faith within the criminal justice system but praises the work of the PSNI. The victim stated that the days between her reporting the crime and attending the trial she had no contact or information relating to the trail until just 2 week before hand “The criminal justice process leading up to the trial was not much better from a victim's perspective. I did not hear from my prosecuting barristers until two weeks before the scheduled trial — leaving me to spend 11 months in confused anxiety about the prospect of testifying.” “How can rape victims be expected to assist the criminal justice system in convicting their attacker, when there isn't even a proper counseling service to help them through this very harrowing process?”( It is easily seen from this specific example that the criminal justice system is simply focused on one thing, which to convict the criminal and punish them accordingly. There seems to be no regard to the victims feelings, concerns or anxieties, but simply referrals and advice, on where to go to achieve help and comfort in an attempt to deal with the traumatic event of being raped. “No one told me that a service like Victim Support existed until a few weeks before my trial (and 10 months after my attack).” ( (2009)

It has been seen as standard practice to observe that the ‘victim’ has long been the forgotten party in criminal justice as the Colin Glen Forest Park victim’s story demonstrates. Victims appear very often appear as complainants and applicants for compensation, or as a witness giving evidence, but thereafter they are unfortunately very much neglected. It is only recently that the victim now forms the focus of a substantial area of enquiry within criminology. There is now a requirement for sufficient attention to be paid to the needs and rights of the victims. (Newburn. 2007. Pg. 342)

Crimes vary in their nature and therefore the impact of the crime on the victim can vary also. Goodey (2005: 121-2) lists a range of emotional, material and social needs that victims may need to have met in the aftermath of crime. This list consists of: reassurance and counselling; medical assistance; financial and...
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