Falling Between the Cracks: Understanding Why States Fail in Protecting Our Children From Crime

52 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2017 Last revised: 12 Mar 2018

See all articles by Michal Gilad

Michal Gilad

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Date Written: August 4, 2017


The article is the first to take an inclusive look at the monumental problem of crime exposure during childhood, which is estimated to be one of the most damaging and costly public health and public safety problem in our society today. We conducted a unique 50-state survey, examining the state-level statutory responses to affected children. The survey uncovered staggering system failures, bureaucratic labyrinth, access to information challenges, and lack of coordination among governing agencies and organizations. Consequently, despite statutory eligibility for therapeutic services and compensation, the majority of children suffering the dire consequences of crime exposure are never identified. Even when identified, only a miniscule minority ever receive services or treatment to facilitate recovery.

Informed by scientific findings, the article also takes on the challenging task of ‘naming’ this complex problem by coining the term Comprehensive Childhood Crime Impact or in short the Triple-C Impact. The term embodies the full effect of direct and indirect crime exposure on children due to their unique developmental characteristics, and the mammoth spillover effect on our society as a whole.

Keywords: crime; criminal justice; child law; victimization; violence; crime exposure; VOCA; victim compensation; victim assistance; law & social science; crime victim services; child protection

Suggested Citation

Gilad, Michal, Falling Between the Cracks: Understanding Why States Fail in Protecting Our Children From Crime (August 4, 2017). U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-32, University of Illinois Law Review, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3014717 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3014717

Michal Gilad (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA
United States

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