Monday, January 22, 2018

Irvin Waller, Victims’ Advocate

Rights for Victims of Crime: Rebalancing Justice cover art featuring close up of eyes on blue, red, and yellow background

Babble On clients tend not to shy away from the tough subjects and Irvin Waller is certainly no exception.His book new book Rights for Victims of Crime:  Rebalancing Justice (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. – is a must read for anyone who pays taxes. Or anyone  who has ever been a victim of crime. Fall into either of those categories? Even if you didn’t fall into the first, chances are good you fell into the second.

In fact, on average, an American will be a victim of assault 3 times and a woman has a one in five chance of being forcibly raped at some point in her life.   Waller’s  book says the time has come to tip the scales – and the expenditures – decisively in favor of crime victims, Waller argues.

While victims and taxpayers hope that justice and victim assistance will meet their needs but  too often the response from law enforcement and the machinery of criminal justice do not make the victim count. Government spends $225 billion on courts, cops and corrections but only $4 billion on victim assistance and compensation. For every woman accommodated at a transition house, for example, one is turned away. Legislation calling for restitution is ignored and governments do not invest in the proven programs that stop violence.

The time has come, he argues, for the re-allocation of funding, comprehensive laws and constitutional change that guarantee victims the right to safety, to reparation and to justice, while ensuring those rights are judicially respected rather than trumped by offender rights.

And Irvin Waller knows what he’s talking about. He has consulted to attorneys general in more than forty countries, was the founding executive director of the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime affiliated with the United Nations, and currently serves as the President of the Oregon-headquartered International Organization for Victims’ Assistance.  A Full Professor at the University of Ottawa who also taught at the State University of New York in Albany, Waller’s first book is the popular “Less Law More Order: The Truth About Reducing Crime,” which shows how to  stop  crime before it happens and shift from misspending on ineffective  “tough on crime” responses

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