Nebraska Revised Statute 81-1843

Chapter 81


Legislative findings.

(1) The Legislature finds and declares:

(a) That there is a need to develop methods to reduce the trauma and discomfort that victims of a crime and witnesses to a crime may experience because often such victims or witnesses are further victimized by the criminal justice system;

(b) That when crime strikes, the chief concern of the criminal justice system is apprehending and dealing with the criminal and the victim's needs are frequently forgotten;

(c) That victims often become isolated and receive little practical advice or necessary care;

(d) That witnesses must make arrangements to appear in court regardless of their own schedules, child care responsibilities, or transportation problems;

(e) That witnesses often endure long waits before testifying, are subjected to confusing circumstances while testifying, and receive no information as to the ultimate disposition of the case;

(f) That a large number of victims and witnesses are unaware of both their rights and obligations;

(g) That unreported crimes occur at a rate that is more than twice the rate of reported crimes and that the reasons people give for not reporting crimes indicate that they are disenchanted with the criminal justice system;

(h) That the single most important factor determining whether or not a case will be solved is the information that the victim supplies to the responding police officer; and

(i) That although the State of Nebraska has the Crime Victim's Reparations Committee and compensation is available for medical expenses, lost earning power, and reasonable rehabilitation costs, the application process is difficult, complex, and time consuming and few victims are aware that the compensation provisions exist.

(2) It is therefor the intent of the Legislature to provide ways of improving the attitudes of victims and witnesses toward the criminal justice system and to provide for faster and more complete recovery by the victim from the effects of the crime through the establishment of pilot project centers for victim and witness assistance.