Legal Aid: A Blog About Laws And Legal Processes

Legal Aid: A Blog About Laws And Legal Processes

A look at criminal compensation and its importance for crime victims

Renee Bates

Sentencing defendants to prison serves to punish them for perpetrating crime, however what about the victims of those crimes who are otherwise left in the lurch? Independently, states have enacted criminal compensation statutes meant to help victims recover their losses when they have not been adequately repaid. This article explains the details surrounding criminal compensation programs and how victims of crime and violence stand to benefit from them.


There are several rationales that support criminal compensation programs. The welfare perspective implies that governments have the mandate to protect its citizens especially the disadvantaged sections of society. And given that most crime befalls the poor, compensation assistance provides an extra welfare safety net to those who are particularly in need.

Another school of thought is that since the citizens have abandoned their rights to take justice into their own hands, this means that the government has a duty to protect them. Crime signifies a failure of that obligation, for which the government should compensate victims.

Compensation for victims is just an aspect of social justice. States ought to compensate victims of crime to enable them to be vindicated, particularly when perpetrators are afforded plenty of protections and constitutional rights.

Who qualifies for criminal compensation?

Victims of vicious crime, such as child sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence and drunk driving, as well as assault, are all entitled to apply for financial assistance.

While every state is subject to its own statutes, all compensation programs feature a similar fundamental criteria to ascertain entitlement for benefits. Normally, the victim must:

  • Report the crime immediately to law enforcement authorities, and cooperate fully with authorities and prosecutor
  • Submit an opportune victim compensation application
  • Have a loss or cost not covered by their insurance program
  • Not have perpetrated a criminal offense or some significantly wrongful act that resulted in or contributed to the criminality.

What expenses are covered under criminal compensation?

Crime victims may suffer economic stress as distressing as their physical injuries and psychological trauma. It's hard to recover from abuse or violence without having to fear about how you will pay for your treatment costs, or how you will make ends meet following your permanent disability. While no sum of money can wipe out the trauma and anguish victims' experience, criminal compensation can be vital after crime. Compensation programs actually cover medical care, counselling services, funerals and lost income. Additionally, other aspects such as travel expenses to seek treatment, relocation expenses, crime-scene clean-up, and the budget of housekeeping and child rearing if the victim is not able to carry out those tasks are also covered.

For more information, contact Alexanders Lawyers or a similar firm.


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About Me
Legal Aid: A Blog About Laws And Legal Processes

Welcome! My name is Jessica, and I work as a legal aid secretary. I am in awe of the lawyers in my office and the variety of cases they cover. From injury compensation to family court matters, they need to understand the law in a broad range of areas. As a legal secretary, it is often my job to research particular points of law or find certain cases for reference. It is a fascinating job and I work hard to keep up with the constant changes to our laws and legal processes. Friends and family often ask me for direction on legal matters and whilst I explain that I am no expert, I usually manage to provide sound advice. This blog is for people who share my passion for the law or who want to understand more about our legal system. I hope you find it engaging and useful.