The invisible victim in criminal policy


criminal policy
procedural justice

How to Cite

Kainulainen, H., Honkatukia, P., & Niemi, J. (2022). The invisible victim in criminal policy. Bergen Journal of Criminal Law & Criminal Justice, 9(2), 21.


The ideology behind the Finnish criminal policy is described as humane and rational. In line with this policy, efforts are made to reduce the use of the criminal justice system to solve societal problems. One of the internationally celebrated landmarks of this policy is the success in keeping the imprisonment rate at a low level. 

In this article we argue, that while this policy has been sensitive towards the needs of the offenders, it has failed to recognize the needs of victims, especially the vulnerabilities related to the victimisation of violence and sexual violence. International critical analyses on the appraisal of the victim rights have raised fears among the criminal policy planners in Finland and prevented analytical discussion. Furthermore, the reluctance to involve the victim perspective in the criminal political discussions is based on mistaken ideas of what the victims really want. In the article, we will consider how to strengthen the position of the victim without making the criminal policy more punitive in general.

Copyright (c) 2022 Heini Kainulainen, Päivi Honkatukia, Johanna Niemi

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.

Bergen Open Access Publishing