We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Victim Panel?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A victim panel is a gathering in which victims of a certain crime tell offenders how that crime has affected their lives. The goal of such a panel is usually stated to be rehabilitation for the offenders, but it is also often a chance for people to experience release from victimization. Often, these panels are not composed of victims of the offenders being spoken to, but rather victims of the same crime. When a victim and offender meet for therapeutic purposes, this is usually a different and more individual type of rehabilitative procedure. Although a victim panel can be effective in some cases, exact statistics gauging how the victims and offenders were affected are not available.

In many cases, a victim panel is simply a gathering in which many different victims speak about the impact of the crime in question on their lives. As such, the gathering is sometimes called a victim impact panel. Victims usually take turns speaking, and offenders often do not get to participate except by listening.

Sometimes, a court will require that an offender attend a victim panel as part of his or her sentence. Victim participation is always voluntary, and victims usually sign up through the office that organizes these panels. Offenders must often pay a fee in order to participate in the course, as must people who are simply interested in what the panelists have to say. Sometimes, a similar meeting may involve more participation from both sides in order to mend emotional wounds. Different psychological philosophies advocate different strategies.

Usually, the goal of a victim panel is to educate criminals about the consequences of their actions. In cases where the consequences are obvious, like murder and other individual violent crimes, victims usually do not feel the need to tell the offenders about the effects of their actions. For crimes like drunk driving or gang violence, where the criminals often minimize the effects, victims often feel the need to emphasize what it is like to be affected by the crime in question. In these cases, particularly when the criminal is not otherwise known to participate in illegal activities, a victim panel can lead to major changes in the offender's life.

Whether or not victim panels are effective is largely a matter of opinion, but in certain anecdotal cases it is claimed that they are responsible for major changes in behavior. Victims also often feel that they are effective because being heard as a victim is a good way to obtain closure. In general, most people believe that victim impact panels do more good than harm, although they may not be as good at stopping crime as some people claim.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.