Victim's assistance for perp's family?

Do the families of criminals ever receive benefits from victim’s assistance programs?
I tried to find the answer on California’s site, but didn’t find anything.

Well now. I’ve asked around about this, and a couple of people got kind of, well, annoyed at the idea. That surprised me. The families of the wrongdoer often suffer more and longer that the direct victims.
I still haven’t been able to find anything official about help for the family.
Oh, well.

I can speak from personal experience that there is absolutely NO assistance whatsoever available to the families of people charged with/convicted of crimes in NJ (as I said - personal experience - your experience may be different). You aren’t considered a victim no matter what your circumstances. It’s SOL all the way around.

None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Ditto for support groups or sometimes even common courtesy.


That sucks. My experience has been second-hand. I know the families, but not close. I observed the same as you describe. Maybe it’s easier to blame the families too.
I think I put this in the wrong forum.

Maybe wrong forum but…

If the families of perps got some sort of compensation when their loved one got sent up, might that not be an invitation for some people to commit crimes?

You would hope that the idea of “when you get caught and sent away you won’t only be hurting yourself but your family will suffer too” might be a good crime deterrent. Some folks, I assume, are ok with the idea of doing a stint in jail but they might think twice if they realize that they will be directly hurting their families.

VCNJ I’m sorry that you could not even get councelling. That is not right :frowning:

If it is a good deterrent, it doesn’t seem to be working. Anyway, punishing innocent people to deter other people doesn’t seem fair.
Of course, “Life Isn’t Fair”.

How do you know its not working?

Maybe crime would be far, far higher those measures were put in place?

All I know is what I read in the newspapers.
There seem to be a lot of people, mostly men, in jail who have families.
It just doesn’t make sense to me that there’d be a huge number of crimes committed to get the families counseling and a little temporary financial help.
Have you guys been watching Boston Legal? :wink:

What I don’t understand is how are these families not eligible for welfare or for reduced counseling?

Are you saying a man has a family, commits a crime and goes to jail, and his family suffers? I’ve known men who die suddenly and their family isn’t covered by life insurance so the whole family suffers. They don’t get anything special.

It isn’t much, but widows and kids can generally get social security. Plus they often get sympathy, plus assistance from neighbors, etc. The families of the perp often get nothing but hostility.
What prompted this whole thread was the Amish School shooting, and the remarkable response of the Amish community and families of the victims. I was moved by the grace of those people.
A good read about the happening;
“Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy”
I happen to be an athiest, and I know good when I see it.
So I’m asking if any other community would help the other victims.
A question, after all. :slight_smile:

Without getting into details (it’s all still very new and still very raw), I will say that support from family and friends has been overwhelming. The circumstances surrounding the crime occurred WAY before I ever came on the scene. I have been very moved by the kindness of people close (and by some not-so-close) to me.

As far as the court/justice system - zip. I cannot even begin to tell you what it is like for a close friend/family member of someone incarcerated. You ask for rule books/information/assistance in dealing with it all, and they look at you like you have 3 heads. The rules seem fluid and they always flow against your benefit. You ask three different people the same question & you get 14 different answers. It is mind-numbing and mind-boggling.

I was not allowed to give an impact statement in court, even though this event has impacted me in ways I will never recover from. At the end of the day - I am a cipher. I’m not a victim, and I’m certainly not a perpetrator. I’m… nil. Null and void. A non-entity. A ghost. I simply do not count - I do not matter. One of the alleged victims in this case was harrassing me on the internet by publishing my name/address/phone number on any website she could manage (local newspaper forums, etc). I called the prosecutor and asked that she be made to stop as I was getting harrassing phone calls…the prosecutor told me “Sorry - there’s nothing I can do to stop her”.

It is a nightmare that I cannot even begin to describe.


If you haven’t, I think you should advocate for yourself and others in your situation. Believe me, there are plenty out there. And don’t feel ashamed. You know you didn’t do anything wrong.
Contact the New Jersey victims rights advocacy group, the ACLU (“victims rights are civil rights”), and anyone else you can think of.
Start a blog.
Make some noise. :slight_smile:
I’m glad your people are supporting you.

Kind of depends on what you mean by “assistance”. If you mean will the perpetrator’s family get public assistance if the perpetrator was the only breadwinner and is now incarcerated , of course they will, if they otherwise qualify. They don’t become ineligible just because a family member committed a crime. If you’re talking about sympathy from neighbors, in my experience that depends in large part on the relationships that existed before the crime.People who are seen as basically good people with a son who lost his mind get sympathy , a wife may get sympathy or assistance when her husband commits a first crime , but the family of the neighborhood bully who’s been a problem since he was 8 doesn’t really get any sympathy and neither does the woman whose husband keeps going to prison. What was remarkable about the Amish situation was that the sympathy and assistance didn’t come only from the perpetrator’s family’s community, or even a shared community - it came from the victims’ community.

Regarding formal crime victims assistance, this is what NYS Crime Victim’s Board may provide to victims of the crime :

Medical and counseling expenses
Loss or damage of essential personal property (up to $500, including $100 for cash)
Burial/funeral expenses (up to $6,000)
Lost wages or lost support (up to $30,000)
Transportation (necessary court appearances for prosecution or to related medical appointments)
Occupational/vocational rehabilitation
Use of domestic violence shelters
Crime scene clean-up (up to $2,500)
Good Samaritan property losses (up to $5,000)
Moving expenses (up to $2,500)
While the perpetrator’s family is always in some sense a victim of the perpetrator, they are not always the direct victim of the crime, and most of those benefits would not apply to them Presumably, if the family members were direct victims of the crime, they would be just as eligible as any other victims. Certainly, victims in need of domestic violence shelters have a current or past family relationship with the perp.

And Veuve_ClicquotNJ, there are support groups , although it is unlikely anyone you might encounter in an official capacity will know any details about them. Your best bet would be to contact an ex-offender organization - they are more likely to have the information than prison officials. I don’t know the organizations in your area, but in my experience, prisoners are familiar with at least the names of ex-offender organizations.