Addressing the Needs of Victims: The Standpoint of Crime Victims Within the Obuasi Municipality

Published date01 April 2022
Date01 April 2022
Subject MatterOriginal Articles
Addressing the Needs
of Victims: The
Standpoint of Crime
Victims Within the
Obuasi Municipality
Kwadwo Ofori-Dua1, Francess Dufie Azumah1,
John Onzaberigu Nachinaab1 and Muazu Mohammed2
The criminal justice system lacks the protection for most victims and does
not provide adequate compensation and rewards for an injury that individuals
incurred during a crime experience to meet crime victims’ needs. After victims
report a crime, they expect the judicial system to deliver justice to meet their
needs in addressing their concerns. However, this is lacking in the criminal justice
system. The focus of the study was to identify measures put in place to identify
and address victims’ needs. Purposive and snowballing sampling techniques were
used. Data were collected from 35 respondents; mainly crime victims and officials
of the criminal justice system in the Obuasi Metropolis. A qualitative approach
was adopted. The study found that the first step the victims felt their needs could
be identified and addressed was, their point of reporting of crime incidence to
the police but that was never the case. Hence, most crime victims want payback
(replacement of lost properties), compensation and rewards from the offenders.
According to most victims, imprisoning perpetrators alone does not meet vic-
tims’ needs. As crime had already been committed and nothing could be done to
turn back the clock. This calls for more pragmatic approaches in addressing crime
victims’ needs within the criminal justice system.
Justice, victim protection, law and legal, victimization
Original Article
Journal of Victimology
and Victim Justice
5(1) 32–53, 2022
2022 Rajiv Gandhi National
University of Law
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/25166069221117185
1 Department of Sociology and Social Work, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
(KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.
2 Master of Science in Security and Justice Administration, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.
Corresponding author:
John Onzaberigu Nachinaab, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Kwame Nkrumah University
of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.
Ofori-Dua et al. 33
Introduction and Background of Study
Any effort to change the criminal justice system must start with an assessment of
what purposes we would like to accomplish through the system3. The traditional
jurisprudential approach has been solely constrained to punishment4,5,6. The
courts and police station have concentrated solely on the guilt of an offender, and
attempted to offer out a suitable punishment in light of the seriousness of the
crime carried out7. As the focus has always been on the seriousness of punish-
ment, or the strategies through which the punishment is given to offenders. Rarely
does the criminal justice system look toward harms done to victims and how they
can be compensated than punishment for offenders8,9. Punishment drives us to
concentrate solely on dealing with the offender, and emphasizes less on any com-
pensation for crime to the neglect of the victims. Inasmuch as there is the need for
punishing offenders, the justice system needs to expand its focus and try to have
a big picture on what the criminal justice system can offer to victims including
satisfying victims’ needs10.
In theory, punishment can be coordinated toward two unique destinations in
light of crime11. Firstly, the general public acknowledges the possibility of
punishment as a deterrent. According to Braithwaite and Strang12, punishment as
means of deterrent comes as explicit discouragement, or has the capacity to
prevent the offender from rehashing his crimes and serve as a general prevention
measure. Secondly, punishment has the capacity to hinder other potential offenders
from carrying out similar crimes. The adequacy of general prevention is to a great
extent left to theory, as it is difficult, if certainly feasible, to quantify the societal
deterrent impact of a criminal procedure13,14.
Explicitly, victims are discouraged when observing the justice system as most
victims’ needs are not properly addressed through the justice system which primarily
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6 R. Clémençon, Welcome to the Anthropocene: Rio+ 20 and the Meaning of Sustainable Develop-
ment, 21 . 3, 311–338 (2012).
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8 C. Cassell, Creating the Interviewer: Identity Work in the Management Research Process, 5 QUAL.
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9 K. B. Sheehan, E-mail Survey Response Rates, 6 JCMC, 2, 621 (2001).
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12 Braithwaite & Strang, supra note 2.
13 Hall, supra note 3.
14 
(Routledge 2014).

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