Victims' Rights
A Documentary and Reference Guide
by Douglas E. Beloof
April 2012, 313pp, 8 1/2 x 11
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39345-7
$121, £94, 106€, A166
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39346-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The Oklahoma City Bombing of 1995 was a horrific event that injured almost 700 people and resulted in the deaths of nearly 170 individuals. These innocent victims were treated in a dismal fashion. Some good did eventually come of this tragedy: this terrorist act was the galvanizing event behind federal reform in victims’ rights.

This invaluable one-stop reference source supplies students and general readers with historical and current information on the victims' rights revolution in the United States, providing analysis on everything from human rights reports to Supreme Court cases that allows the reader to fully understand these documents.

Victims’ rights represent the greatest change in the criminal justice system within the last 30 years. Victims’ Rights: A Documentary and Reference Guide traces the origins, evolution, and results of the victims’ rights movement. It puts victims’ rights in a legal, historical, and contemporary context, and comprehensively collects important victims’ rights documents in a single volume—perfect for students as well as general readers.

Bringing together dozens of varied documents such as presidential task force reports and recommendations, Supreme Court cases, state constitutions, human rights reports, critical articles, and political documents, this book is an indispensable resource for those seeking to understand the origins and modern consequences of American victims’ rights policy. The author’s accompanying commentary and analysis helps the reader to gain a complete comprehension of the significance of these documents, while numerous bibliographic sources provide additional resources for interested readers.


  • Many primary source documents, such as the President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime
  • A focused bibliography follows each chapter
  • An index offers easy access to documents and analysis
Douglas E. Beloof is professor of law and founder of the National Crime Victim Law Institute at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, OR. His published work includes the award-winning book Victims in Criminal Procedure and many articles on victims' rights. He has been presented with the award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services by the United States Attorney General.


"This is a clearly written and informative book on an important subject lacking literature. . . . Highly recommended for public and academic libraries."—Library Journal, July 1, 2012

"Part of a series, this reference by Beloof (Lewis and Clark Law School) provides in a single volume a historical/legal overview of the status of victims' rights in the US and in the process identifies key texts, documents, court cases, history, journal articles, and references for further reading. . . . Summing Up: Recommended."—Choice, September 1, 2012

Documentary and Reference Guides

Expertly chosen primary source documents, analytical commentary, and comprehensive study resources present Americans grappling directly with complex social and political issues in ways that have had a deep and lasting impact on contemporary society.

Students often are unaware that hotly contested public debates have deep historical roots. Intended to allow readers to engage with history and discover the development of controversial social and political issues over time, the Documentary and Reference Guides series introduces such issues through carefully chosen primary source documents.

The documents analyzed in these volumes encourage critical thinking, offering fresh perspectives as they sweep away preconceptions and restore immediacy to debates that may have become stale. They encourage students to explore for themselves how important issues came to be framed as they are and to consider how contemporary discussion might advance beyond the assumptions and hardened positions of the past.


  • 50–100 primary source documents, topically and chronologically organized, including excerpts from legislation, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, manifestos, broadcast statements, such controversial writings as Thomas Paine's pamphlets and excerpts from the Federalist Papers, and personal writings, such as letters
  • 15–25 photographs
  • Accessible analysis sections and lively sidebars illuminating documents that are crucial to the subject, but relatively legalistic or technical
  • A Reader's Guide to the Documents and Sidebars, organized by subject, to enable readers to pursue particular lines of inquiry through more than one chapter
  • A comprehensive, annotated, general resources section supporting student research needs
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