In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Victim Impact Statements

  • Introduction

Criminology Victim Impact Statements
Jill Viglione, Ashley Lockwood
  • LAST MODIFIED: 23 May 2024
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0333


Victim impact statements are accounts provided by the victim of a crime, by one of the victim’s friends or family members, or other relevant parties who can describe the effect the event had on the victim (e.g., first responders). While the purpose of these statements is nuanced, a main objective is to provide victims an opportunity to share their experiences and have a voice throughout justice system processes. These statements typically provide information regarding harm or injury done to the victim and commonly include suggestions for how the legal system might respond to the offense (e.g., sentence recommendation). Although use of victim impact statements may be beneficial to victims, some debate exists surrounding the impact and value of victim impact statements.

General Overviews

This section introduces victim impact statements, including an overview of the definition and purpose. An overview of the history of victim impact statements is also provided.

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