43 S. Cal. L. Rev. 85 (1970)
Aid to Victims of Violent Crimes in California

handle is hein.journals/scal43 and id is 101 raw text is: AID TO VICTIMS OF VIOLENT
CRIMES IN CALIFORNIA
WILLARD SHANK*
Consideration of the Australian violence victim schemes reveals
the inadequacies of the criminal courts as compensating institutions.
The history of civil litigation in this area is scarcely more encouraging;
even aside from the difficulty of executing a judgment against the
typically impecunious criminal, long delays caused by congestion of the
civil court calendar make resort to the judicial process an ineffective
remedy for most victims of violence. Consequently, most jurisdictions
which have enacted compensation statutes have established
administrative boards to evaluate claims. The desire to keep the costs
of administration low, and at the same time utilize all existing and
available expertise, led California to subsume their violence victim
compensation program under the auspices of the Welfare Department.
The author discusses the difficulty of reconciling victim compensation
with the philosophy of welfare.
COMPENSATION VERSUS WELFARE
The California violence victim compensation program is the progeny
of San Francisco Superior Court Judge Francis McCarty. Working
within one of the most progressive penal systems in the United States,
he became convinced that it was incongruous . . . that the State did
so much for criminals . . . and did nothing at all for their victims.'
At his instigation remedial legislation was introduced, and in 1965
California became the third governmental entity to undertake a victim
compensation program, having been preceded only by New Zealand
and England.2 Senate Bill 1057 added section 1500.02 to the Welfare
and Institutions Code, and in its original unamended form was a
model of legislative simplicity.' As enacted, the bill provided:
* Member of the California Bar. A.B. 1946, LL.B. 1949, University of California at
Berkeley.
I. Letter from Judge Francis McCarty to \Villard Shank, March 3, 1966.
2. HOME OFFICE COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIMES OF VIOLENCE, CMND No. 2323
(1964); Criminal Injuries Compensation Act, 1963, No. 134 of 1963 (N.Z.). For a general
summary of the development of compensation prior to and contemporaneous with passage of
these first modern bills, see Schafer, Victim Compensation and Responsibility. 43 S. CAL.
L. REv. 55-58 & nn. 1-14 (1970).
3. S.B. 1057 (1965), Section 1:
Section 1500.02 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read: Aid shall be
paid under this chapter, upon application, to the family of any person killed and to

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