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Bereavement work in the criminal justice system.




This chapter considers the false demarcation that operates in practice between the administration of criminal justice and the inadequacies in the system when faced with managing the personal elements of bereavement. From a criminological vantage point, the justice system appears to be indecisive in handling emotions arising from loss through death, despite the fact that acknowledging such emotions is essential to the very structures of justice. This leads to the curious neglect of bereaved people on the part of the criminal justice system. I will examine how bereavement work is sidelined from the overall process of justice, despite its essential role. The concept of secondary victimisation is central to understanding the marginalisation of the experiences of the bereaved (Walklate, 2007). Secondary victimisation occurs when the perspectives, needs, or involvement of victims or bereaved people are disregarded, which compounds their initial (or ‘primary’) victimisation caused by the original crime. Secondary victimisation occurs because the institutional culture of the criminal justice system is primed to investigate, prosecute and sentence offenders. Victims, the bereaved and their losses are unintentionally marginalised as ‘collateral’ in the justice cycle (Wolhuter et al. 2009). The chapter seeks to redress the analytical gap by examining the many ways in which the voluntary sector performs vital bereavement work both at different junctures in criminal justice procedures and by crossing ‘boundaries’ in offering support to all parties affected by death or homicide.

Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2018
Publication Date Jan 1, 2018
Book Title Loss, Dying and Bereavement in the Criminal Justice System
ISBN 9781138283572
Keywords criminal psychology, bereavement, loss, psychology