|Previous Next Index Image Index Year Selection|
(3) Protection of crime victims' rights
It is necessary to protect community members, in particular, vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly, against threat of crimes by way of effective anticrime measures. However, once any damage is caused by a crime, the offender should be cleared and necessary criminal procedures should be taken, and at the same time, crime victims, etc. should be guaranteed treatment suitable for their dignity and protection of their rights at the various stages of criminal and civil procedures following. In accordance with the framework specified by the Basic Plan for Crime Victims, expansion of crime victims' involvement into criminal procedures has been discussed so as to introduce a new system suitable for Japanese society. The Japan Judicial Support Center, which started operation in October 2006, also started support services for crime victims.
In the process of investigation and trials, full consideration needs to be paid to protecting the privacy of victims so as not to cause any secondary damages. While clarifying the reality of crime damages, crime victims should be given sufficient opportunities to state their opinions concerning penalties to be imposed on perpetrators and criminal dispositions should be determined taking such victims' opinions into consideration in an appropriate manner. Furthermore, at stages following the determination of criminal disposition for perpetrators, such as in the process of rehabilitation guidance at penal institutions or probationary supervision, education that prompts perpetrators to face the realities and seriousness of the offenses they had committed and realize their responsibilities should be provided sufficiently. Sex offender treatment programs also provide education programs that make sex offenders realize the seriousness of damages caused by sexual offenses and understand the feelings of victims.
The above-mentioned report by the "Advisory Committee Seeking the Ideal Form of Rehabilitation" clarifies concrete methods and procedures to listen to the opinions of crime victims in the process of examinations for parole by a Regional Parole Board. The Advisory Committee also recommends that when opinions are collected according to those procedures, the Board should inform the crime victims of the responses they have taken afterward with reasons attached. Crime victims' opinions should thus be further referred to in the process of conducting examinations for parole.
Concrete measures from the viewpoint of crime victims should further be promoted. At each stage of treatment for perpetrators, it should be noted that prompting perpetrators to face their problems squarely is effective in their real improvement and rehabilitation.