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Restorative Justice for Victims of Crime: A Victim-Oriented Approach to Restorative Justice

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Abstract

The topic of restorative justice has become increasingly popular. However, there is some debate as to whether restorative justice programs adequately address victims' needs. To this end a review of the literature on victims' experiences with, and their expectations and perceptions of, restorative justice, was conducted. The available research shows that while restorative justice has advantages for victims, there is a risk of secondary victimization. There is, however, a demand for restorative justice programs among victims. The question is therefore not whether restorative justice programs should be offered to victims, but how they should be offered. This paper addresses the research on victims' needs and closes with recommendations for victim-oriented restorative justice programs.

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... victims often face insensitive treatment with little opportunity for input into the resolution of their cases and report feeling voiceless in the processes used [66,67,72,74,76]. ...
... Several studies have noted that some victims expressed feeling pressured to participate in restorative processes and having heightened anxieties and fears about meeting face-to-face with the offender [5,15,32,50,54,56]. In reviewing 25 evaluation studies of victims' experiences with restorative justice Wemmers [72] found that some victims complained of a lack of information about procedures and expectations. There were reports of re-victimization through the restorative justice encounter [5]. ...
... There were reports of re-victimization through the restorative justice encounter [5]. Re-victimization was manifested by expressions of enhanced fear, depression, distress and unresolved anger [72]. These findings suggest that insensitive approaches toward victims and their needs is possible during restorative processes and that when it does occur it can reduce the restorative quality of outcomes for victims [2,5,12]. ...
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This article discusses issues that restorative justice programs may face during implementation and lessons learned from an exploratory study. We examined various perspectives of multiple participants who experienced a Victim-Offender Mediation (VOM) program in a mid-sized Midwestern city in the U.S. The primary data source comprised 34 interviews with 37 participants including adult crime victims, juvenile offenders and their parents, mediators, and representatives from referring agencies. Observations complemented the interview data. Findings revealed patterns of victim marginalization during the processes used: victims were not prepared appropriately; were at times pressured by mediators to behave in certain ways; and, occasionally felt intimidated by offenders and/or their families. We discuss some factors that may have influenced the emergence of these patterns. This study revealed gaps between the guiding principles of restorative justice theory and field practices, particularly sensitivity toward victims to meet their needs. We suggest that restorative justice programs should consider using a monitoring system to ensure that the processes used remain consistent with the values and principles of restorative justice.
... Furthermore, given that there is sufficient evidence for the effectiveness of restorative justice, as described briefly above, Wemmers (2002) argued that it is no longer about whether it should be implemented, but how it should be implemented. Therefore, how should Malaysia implement it? ...
... When discussing the welfare of victims of crime, a pivotal need that must be addressed is the ability for the victims to make decisions and control the outcome of the criminal processes, which is conceptualised as 'the need for participation' by Wemmers (2002). However, in the Malaysian context, decision-making power is held by the State, specifically, the public prosecutor that determines the outcome of the criminal process (Hussin, 2010) -as succinctly illustrated by the VIS example above. ...
... The victims' motivations to participate may also be related to their basic needs as victims. Wemmers (2002) suggested that there are six needs of victims of crime: information, compensation, emotional restoration, participation, protection and practical needs. Similar work has been done by Bolitho (2015), who discussed eight justice needs, which are safety, empowerment, venting feelings, storytelling, information, growth, accountability and meaning. ...
Article
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The objective of this study is to understand Malaysian victims’ motivations for participating in restorative justice programmes via their views on three core elements of restorative justice: meeting and dialogue, reparation of harm and apology. In this mixed-design study, 63 Malaysian victims of crimes were interviewed. The findings suggest that, in general, there was a willingness to participate and that among the victims’ main motivations for participation were the desire to express their voice and to understand their victimisation. The findings of this study lay the groundwork for a new policy in Malaysia and contribute to understanding how restorative justice helps Malaysian victims of crime achieve well-being post-victimisation, as well how this can be achieved.
... By emphasizing the victim, RJ often sidesteps the traditional criminal justice systems main priority of offender punishment, which has the effect of placing victims needs as secondary (Wemmers, 2002). Restorative justice advocates often claim that because the traditional criminal justice system is predicated on confrontation and vengeance, the needs of the victim cannot be met leading them to feel excluded from the justice process. ...
... This suggests that victim focused RJ processes, even after serious crimes, provide victims, offenders and their families with a deeper sense of justice. Wemmers (2002) notes that a primary need of the victim after a crime is a need for information, and not just speculation or legally constrained information that comes from a trial or plea agreement. This often requires direct or indirect access to offenders who hold this information (Zehr & Gohar, 2003). ...
... Victims often feel like they should have a role in the justice process and have the ability to voice their views and opinions, mainly at sentencing, and are seeking some type of input (Wemmers & Cyr, 2004). Wemmers (2002) notes however, that RJ programs are often less equipped to help address victim's practical needs and can have an adverse effect on the victims need for security and protection by creating contact with the offender. Policy makers and those implementing programs need to be cognizant of victim's circumstances and ensure that they feel safe and wellinformed throughout the entire RJ process. ...
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The purpose of this research is to examine the relationship between restorative justice and police culture, and the level to which this culture acts as barrier to the successful implementation and use of restorative justice by frontline police officers. Using a multi-level work group framework, frontline officer’s attitudes and understanding of restorative justice and police culture beliefs are examined, and then their impact on frontline police work is assessed. This study employs an explanatory sequential mixed methods design and is conducted in two phases. The initial quantitative phase involved distributing a Likert-style survey to frontline officers to measure their attitudes and understanding of restorative justice and police culture variables. After analysis of the initial quantitative findings, semi-structured interview questions were developed building on these findings to provide for a more in-depth qualitative analysis. Results indicate that police culture variables such as solidarity, teamwork, crime fighting and tough on crime attitudes are still persistent in policing, but frontline officers are generally accepting of restorative justice, and believe that it has a place in their frontline work as a dispositional tool. Findings indicate, however, that officers perceive restorative justice as another option only for less serious crimes and low risk offenders, and not as a new method of managing offender activity. Restorative justice is not being used to its fullest potential. To increase use of RJ diversion more thorough training, specialist designations and supervisory and middle management direction is recommended.
... Regarding the first proposition, in line with the theory of homeostatis (Cummins, 2000), we might expect crime victims to initially react negatively but to regain their normal happiness set-level in time (hypotheses one and two). Nonetheless, severely traumatised victims might be slower to do so or might never regain their original personal disposition of happiness (Wemmers, 2002 ). Further, consider that crime victims might become more aware of their vulnerability than nonvictims and take greater precautions to better protect themselves. ...
... Similarly the idea that victims in high or low crime areas might react differently to victimisation was not pursued in the analysis owing to the relatively high crime rates in all police wards. The victimology literature states that repeat or multiple victims of crime are at risk of being revictimised (e.g., Smith et al., 2001; Kiessl and Würger, 2002; Wemmers, 2002). Although it was not practically feasible to study the effects of multiple or repeat victimisation, results do suggest that victims learn from experience and take protective measures that in turn boost feelings of personal safety and wellbeing. ...
... Although it was not practically feasible to study the effects of multiple or repeat victimisation, results do suggest that victims learn from experience and take protective measures that in turn boost feelings of personal safety and wellbeing. The gravity of the offence according to criminal code is not necessarily a good indication of its emotional impact (Wemmers, 2002). In line with the literature and in support of hypothesis two, individual crimes against the person, experienced by the respondents directly, seemed to have a greater negative impact on feelings of safety and life satisfaction than household crime. ...
Article
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A victimisation study conducted among 3300 householders in South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (NMMM) in the Eastern Cape Province aimed to inform a crime prevention strategy for the metropolitan area. The study found that the variables ‘fear of crime’ – measured in terms of perceived likelihood of victimisation – and concern about ‘personal safety’ had greater negative influence on life satisfaction than actual victimisation. Individual crimes against the person had greater negative influence on subjective wellbeing and feelings of personal safety than property and other household crimes. Individuals who perceived themselves to be at risk of becoming a victim of crime also perceived greater risk of other misfortunes. However, materially better-off victims reported higher levels of life satisfaction than non-victims in spite of their crime experience. South Africa has high crime rates by international standards and fighting crime presents the country with one of its major challenges in the second decade of democracy. Nevertheless, findings suggest that the negative impact of crime issues on achieving the good life are overshadowed by issues of racial inequalities and poverty. The conclusion is drawn that residents of Nelson Mandela Metropole are hardy when it comes to living with crime but nonetheless suffer stress in doing so. From a methodological perspective, the discussion considers whether subjective crime issues such as fear of crime and personal safety should be regarded as personal or neighbourhood quality-of-life issues. Based on survey findings, the conclusion is drawn that concern for personal safety is both. However, a crime-as-neighbourhood-issue is more likely to attract remedial action on the part␣of␣local authorities to better protect citizens and allay their fears of crime.
... Similarly, in relation to a review of 25 evaluations of restorative justice, Wemmers (2002) reported that a signifi cant minority of victims feel worse after participation, which led Wemmers (2002) to conclude that secondary victimization is a real risk associated with restorative justice. This fi nding is supported by Daly's (1996) study, in which she found, after observing 24 conferences, that 25 per cent of (mostly female) victims were treated disrespectfully or re-victimized (cited in Daly and Stubbs 2006 ). ...
... Similarly, in relation to a review of 25 evaluations of restorative justice, Wemmers (2002) reported that a signifi cant minority of victims feel worse after participation, which led Wemmers (2002) to conclude that secondary victimization is a real risk associated with restorative justice. This fi nding is supported by Daly's (1996) study, in which she found, after observing 24 conferences, that 25 per cent of (mostly female) victims were treated disrespectfully or re-victimized (cited in Daly and Stubbs 2006 ). ...
... One of the benefi ts of conferencing cited by Daly and Curtis-Fawley (2004) is that most offenders apologized for their behaviour during the conference, although apologies and remorse have no restorative effect if they are given unwillingly (Braithwaite 2003). Since victims are astute at detecting offender insincerity ( Wemmers 2002 ;Daly 2003), ' [v]ictims who are confronted with an offender who shows no remorse often feel worse after the conference ' ( Wemmers (2002: 52 -3) . It is also a mistake to assume that an admission amounts to offender remorse -a view supported by Daly's (2003) study, which found that young offenders were more concerned with the penalty they would receive than repairing the harm, suggesting that remorse is not a high priority. ...
Article
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Restorative justice advocates have made a number of claims about the effectiveness of restorative justice in relation to sexual assault crimes, such as its ability to defuse power relations between the parties and heal the harm. This article examines whether or not restorative justice is one of the ways forward in the difficult area of prosecuting child sex offences by re-analysing some of the data reported in Daly (2006) and comparing restorative justice with other reforms to the sexual assault trial. It concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the view that there are inherent benefits in the restorative justice process that provide victims of sexual assault with a superior form of justice.
... Justice for victims is multifaceted and the need for justice includes the need for reparation as well as the need for recognition, and vindication (Wemmers 2010(Wemmers , 2017. Victims' perceptions of justice are influenced by the outcomes they receive (distributive justice), the formal rules and procedures followed in decision-making (procedural justice) as well as how people are treated (interpersonal justice) and the information they receive (informational justice) (Wemmers 1996(Wemmers , 2010Hoskins et al. 2015;Morissette and Wemmers 2016). In particular, victims value procedures that give them input or voice, which means that they have an opportunity to speak and to be heard in the decision-making process (Wemmers and Cyr 2006). ...
... The UN Declaration concentrates on restitution, compensation and assistance for victims, which are effectively different forms of reparation (Danielli 2014). Hence, restitution is just one of many forms of reparation, which can help restore a sense of justice for victims and provide assistance for victims as they deal with the consequences of their victimization (Wemmers 1996;Hoskins et al. 2015). ...
... If an offender does not respect the order, they risk being detained. However, detention does not remove the offender's civil responsibility and the civil obligation of making restitution to the victim does not disappear following detention of an offender for non-payment (Wemmers 1996;Lindenbergh and Helby 2016). ...
Chapter
Restitution consists of an amount paid by the offender to the victim in order to make redress for the harm suffered, which helps lighten the financial burden of crime that is imposed on victims. According to the United Nations’ Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, governments are encouraged to review their practices, regulations and laws to consider restitution as an available sentencing option in criminal cases in addition to other criminal sanctions (Article 9). The aim of the UN Declaration is to “assist governments and the international community in their efforts to secure justice and assistance for victims of crime” (Article 3). However, based on an analysis of legal practice and research regarding restitution for victims, it is argued that current policy and practice in Canada stops short of helping victims and, as such, fails to respect the spirit of the UN Declaration. Reparative justice is presented as a victim-centred approach, which takes a broader view of reparations and focuses on the needs of victims of crime.
... During the last few years, theorists and practitioners have tried to discover to what extent restorative justice effectively 'restores' victims. While there are some who argue that RJ can be a source of well-being (see, for example, Beven et al., 2005;Shapland et al., 2006b;Umbreit et al., 2004), there are others who believe that RJ practices are mainly offender-oriented and may involve important risks for victims (see, for example, Pemberton et al., 2007;Wemmers, 2002b). Two types of conclusions have been formulated as a response to this debate. ...
... First, it has been argued that RJ can be a positive experience for some but not for all victims ( Umbreit et al., 2004). Secondly, research has not been able to explain RJ effects on victims in depth because either research itself has been offender-oriented ( Dignan, 2007) or its methodology has not been rigorous enough to deduce causality ( Wemmers, 2002aWemmers, , 2002b). It is not the purpose of this paper to discuss whether RJ literature has been able to respond satisfactorily to the question of whether RJ restores. ...
Article
It has been argued that every scientific decision is co-determined by underlying worldviews. Which worldviews have guided research on restorative justice (RJ) with respect to the topic of ‘victims’ restoration'? In the RJ literature, ‘restoration’ appears from different perspectives, but it is not clear what the implications that these different perspectives might have for RJ practice and research are. This paper aims to a) describe how in RJ literature ‘restoration’ has been defined and measured, trying to uncover the underlying approaches adopted in both theory and research, and b) analyze their implications and limitations for the development of RJ theory and practice. The analysis shows that approaches differ in terms of how harm is defined and how the role of the victim is conceived, as well as with respect to the aspects that are considered to be most helpful for RJ practice. There also seems to be a gap between what has been theoretically defined and what has been empirically measured. Finally, it is concluded that the predominance of psychological models, the tendency to describe more than to explain, and the lack of a more comprehensive theoretical framework on victims' restoration are common characteristics of existing approaches.
... During mediation, victims usually play an active role, while offenders take meaningful responsibility for their actions, providing opportunities to right their wrongs and redeem themselves (McCold, 1996;Wemmers, 2002). In the context of service failure reported through eWOM, the review site acts as a mediating platform between consumers and hotels (Claffey & Brady, 2014). ...
... This is analogous to criminal justice, in which the origins of restorative justice lie; in the case of a minor crime, material compensation is useful in helping the victim recover from the trauma, while such reparation cannot compensate the victim when the crime is severe (Sharp, 2007). For severe crime involving irretrievable losses, compensation becomes symbolic, and victims' appeals largely pertain to their emotional needs (Retzinger & Scheff, 1996;Wemmers, 2002). ...
Article
Highlights • eWOM-triggered service recovery is examined through the novel theoretical lens of restorative justice. • An experiment is used to examine how hotels’ responses to negative online reviews impact upon service recovery. • The effectiveness of hotels’ responses and the optimal recovery strategies depend on the service failure severity. • Offering compensation and providing a prompt reply work best for less and more severe service failures, respectively. • Hotels’ responsiveness and service recovery satisfaction affect continued use of the eWOM medium by consumers. Abstract Our research examines the effectiveness of monetary compensation and the promptness of response during electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM)-triggered service recovery. Drawing upon restorative justice theories, we explore three main questions: whether the hotel’s response to negative online reviews are always beneficial; whether offering compensation or responding promptly is more efficient under different levels of service failure severity; and how the hotel’s response influences consumers’ future engagement through eWOM media. Experimental results reveal that making minimum online service recovery effort is only effective in fixing consumer attitudes for less severe service failures. Compensation is the optimal solution for less severe failures, while prompt response is optimal for more severe service failures. The hotel’s responsiveness to negative reviews and the service recovery outcome positively influence consumers’ future eWOM behaviours through the same online medium. Implications for hotels seeking cost-effective management of negative reviews and for online media owners are offered.
... This review would suggest a divergence between theoretical models of RJ and practiced cases. Should there be miscommunication or conflict in goals during the meeting there is the risk of the individual becoming revictimised (Umbreit et al. 1994), which can contribute towards poorer psychological outcomes (Wemmers 2002). Yet, quantitative reviews have found that victims were generally satisfied with their experience of RJ (Latimer et al. 2005;Strang et al. 2013). ...
... Victims of crime benefit from control following a traumatic incident as a means of coping with the incident (Lazarus and Folkman 1984). Yet, young people involved in RJ were denied this opportunity through inadequate mediation, highlighting the potential of conferences to exacerbate PTSS (Wemmers 2002). This is counter to the aims of RJ and reflects the necessity of high practitioner standard and effective mediation in order to achieve positive outcomes for the victims. ...
Article
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Crime victimisation is a significant life event that can lead to the development of post-traumatic symptomology. Compared with the general population, victims of crime are significantly more likely to present with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Restorative justice is an approach to criminal justice that considers the goal of the justice system to restore victims to their state pre-victimisation. The purpose of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of restorative justice in reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress that develop following victimisation. Relevant databases were searched to identify quantitative studies measuring post-traumatic symptoms in victims of crime who successfully completed either a restorative justice or customary justice intervention. A total of seven studies were identified examining one or more facet of post-traumatic symptomology. These studies provide modest support that restorative justice did produce a greater improvement on post-traumatic symptoms than customary justice procedures. However, this was only consistently evidenced for symptoms of avoidance and intrusion, whereas there were mixed findings with regard to the subscales of negative alterations in mood and cognition, and arousal and reactivity. Reasons for these inconsistencies are discussed and recommendation made for further empirical work on this subject.
... The problems associated with 'secondary victimisation' within the conventional criminal justice system have been widely reported (Shapland et al, 1985;Ellison, 2001;Doak, 2008), but less attention has been paid to the fact that restorative justice can also cause damage and pain to victims if not correctly implemented. This is underlined by the fact that many studies report that a small, albeit significant, minority of victims feel worse after the restorative justice (Daly, 1996;Wemmers, 2002). ...
... Many studies have highlighted concerns that outcomes from restorative sessions are often primarily offender-orientated, with insufficient consideration being given the victim's reparatory needs (Crawford and Newburn, 2003). Even if some form of reparation is agreed, the lack of compliance monitoring or follow up can mean that many victims feel let down by the process Wemmers, 2002;Campbell et al, 2006). ...
Article
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This report was commissioned by the National Commission on Restorative Justice. It aims to inform the Commission of relevant research relating to the concept and practice of restorative justice abroad, and contains an overview of main issues and concerns which commonly arise when restorative justice reforms are implemented. This report provides an international review and analysis of the current state of restorative justice theory and practice.
... As a result of such findings, RJ is increasingly viewed as a viable approach that may meet the needs of victims more effectively than traditional criminal justice processes (United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime, 2006). about participating in a process where they interact with the offender and that they may feel pressured to participate (Bazemore & Schiff, 2005;Choi & Gilbert, 2010;Daly, 2002Daly, , 2006Morris & Maxwell, 1997;Strang, 2002;Umbreit et al., 1994, Umbreit, 1999Wemmers, 2002). In particular, some victims express feelings of re-victimized during the processes (Bazemore & Schiff, 2005). ...
... More recently, Wemmers and Cyr (2005) reported a similar finding when a small proportion of victims spoke of feeling worse after their participation in VOM when offenders refused to take responsibility for their actions. Wemmers (2002) also documented that some victims reported feeling pressured to participate in RJ processes and some were even upset by the invitation to participate in an RJ process, saying that it caused them fear, anger and feelings of marginalization. The invitation was viewed as an insult because these victims thought that their cases were not taken seriously by the justice system. ...
Article
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Despite claims that restorative justice is “victim centered,” and deliberately focused on healing harms to victims, some studies report that particular applications of restorative justice may not be fully consistent with its fundamental principles and values. Under such circumstances these programs may focus on outcomes (e.g., rehabilitation of youthful offenders) rather than process, and in doing so, may fail to identify and respond effectively to victims' needs. To take a closer look at this phenomenon, this article examines a sample of published restorative justice studies that highlight ‘negative’ experiences of victims. Given a number of studies that indicate victims typically have satisfying experiences in restorative justice practices such reports of negative experiences and practices should be viewed as ‘outliers.’ However, such outliers may provide substantively meaningful insights that inform best practice standard for restorative justice. Implications are drawn for the use of restorative justice practices for youth justice.
... 3. Deben considerarse los intereses prosociales de las víctimas (en los que coinciden muchas de las personas condenadas), más allá de planteamientos estrictamente terapéuticos o, por otra parte, centrados en el perdón, fomentando la no instrumentalización y la igualdad de acceso a los programas. Para ello es preciso, particularmente en delitos graves, partir de una formación victimológica, y evitar la idea de víctima ideal (Christie, 1986;2009) para los programas de justicia restaurativa (Wemmers, 2002;Maglione, 2017;van Camp, 2017;Vanfraechem, Bolivar, y Aertsen, 2015). Ello implica también claridad informativa para las víctimas sobre los efectos penológicos (Alonso y Díaz Bada, 2016) (en mi opinión, debería evitarse la noción de derecho premial), efectos que son lógicos y razonables (y ajustados a los mencionados intereses prosociales), como ya existen en programas restaurativos en la fase de instrucción y enjuiciamiento, sin perjuicio de las dudas que sobre la sinceridad, suficiencia y dimensiones objetivas de la reparación puedan suscitarse en ocasiones. ...
Article
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Desde el significado de la justicia restaurativa en delitos de terrorismo, se contextualiza la red internacional de «encuentro de encuentrosrestaurativos» para efectuar un análisis temático del círculo de diálogo que tuvo lugar en San Sebastián, en 2019, cuando participantes de diversos países, que realizaron encuentros restaurativos en este ámbito, debatieron sus implicaciones personales, interpersonales y sociales. Finalmente se alude a los programas actuales de justicia restaurativa en el ámbito penitenciario.
... However, these studies have been criticized on the basis of methodological deficiencies (see Wemmers, 2002a). It has also emerged that some victims have negative experiences and feel worse after participating; do not feel confident about the offender's excuses; perceive that the meeting was excessively offenderfocused; and/or feel pressured to participate (Shapland et al., 2006;Shapland et al., 2007;Sherman and Strang, 2007;Sherman et al., 2005;Wemmers, 2002b). ...
Article
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In this article we analyse recorded verbal interactions between victims and offenders in the presence of mediators. Our aim is to illuminate how victims interact, communicate and position themselves in relation to the offender. We inquire whether victims benefit from verbal interaction with offenders during a process of mediation. According to this study there are no easy answers. Victims act in diverse ways depending on their aims and the situation. They may act as moral entrepreneurs, adopt consensus-seeking strategies or take oppositional positions. This research may be informative for those who are interested in which benefits victims can achieve when they communicate with offenders in the framework of restorative justice.
... Výzkumy zabývající se potřebami lidí dotčených zločinem přitom ukazují, že potrestání pachatele nemusí být tím, po čem oběti zločinu nejvíce touží. Pro mnoho z nich jsou podstatnější takové prvky, jako náhrada škody, kterou utrpěly, možnost vyjádřit se k řešení případu či slyšet upřímnou omluvu od pachatele [Dignan 2005;Wemmers 2002]. Také proto se v moderních systémech trestní justice stále více prosazují myšlenky restorativní justice, která se na uspokojení těchto potřeb primárně zaměřuje a která na zločin nenahlíží jako na prohřešek proti trestnímu zákonu, ale jako na zásah do mezilidských vztahů, na jehož řešení by se měli podílet přímo ti, jichž se týká [viz např. ...
Article
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The trend towards harsher punishment of offenders, usually termed the 'new punitiveness', is often explained as a response to deepening social and economic uncertainty. One important area that criminal policy research has long dealt with is public attitudes to punishment. Statements that the pub-lic want more severe punishments for those who break the law are often used to justify introducing measures to make the criminal justice system harsher. There are, however, different ways to measure public opinion on criminal sentencing. While general attitudinal questions indicate the public to be very punitive in outlook, when they have to evaluate specific cases the results are slightly more positive. Drawing on data from the European Social Survey, the article aims to describe the current level of punitiveness in the Czech Republic, as measured by both above-mentioned indicators, and to assess whether the respondents' answers to such indicators are influenced by the same factors. Data show that Czechs tend to have relatively strong punitive attitudes. However, past studies have shown that people are less punitively inclined when they are judging a specific case. Moreover, regression analysis suggests that, rather than individual punitive sentiments, the general measure of punitiveness reflects cognitive and emotional reactions of a different nature (e.g. the quality of work of the court system), which means that the information on public attitudes it produces could be misleading.
... Victims will usually have an opponunity to put forward their views about the offence: to have their anxieties and fears addressed; to receive information and compensation; and to be consulted on decisions that affect their interests (Wilcox et al.,2(04). Unlike participation in the conventional process -where a victim may be compeIled to testify in court as a witness -victim participation in the restorative process is voluntary (Wemmers, 2002). Even if the victim does not wish to attend mediation or a conference in person, indirect communication can often be facilitated through the use of a surrogate victim or through the facilitator feeding the views of the victim into a conference (i.e. by reading out a letter or relaying details of a conversation with the victim). ...
Article
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The task of delineating an appropriate role for the victim in the criminal justice system has been the subject of considerable debate in academia and policy circles for some time. While victim participation is considered something of a sine qua non of the restorative paradigm, many commentators remain sceptical of victim input in conventional sentencing on the grounds that it may lead to the imposition of overly harsh or onerous obligations. Drawing on evidence from a major evaluation of youth conferencing in Northern Ireland, this article challenges the assumption that victims are essentially punitive parties, and calls for a rethink of some of the fundamental values and assumptions that have traditionally resulted in their exclusion and even alienation in the criminal justice system. © 2006, A B Academic Publishers. Printed in Great Britain. All rights reserved.
... Similar to other transitional justice forms, there is a growing critical literature on the meaning of reparative justice in post-war processes. 5 The fundamental argument of advocates of reparative justice and its main tool, reparations (both symbolic and material), is that, unlike trials, reparations are the most victim-centric of all transitional justice mechanisms (Wemmers 2002;Waldorf 2012;Walker 2016). Though reparation programmes are diverse, in their maximalist forms they offer acknowledgement, apologies, rehabilitation and commemorations as symbolic repair; and financial aid, social care and other services as redistributive compensation (see De Greiff 2006). ...
... Perpetrators may also blame the survivor, make light of the offence and refuse to apologise in a restorative justice conference (Shapland et al., 2007;Cossins, 2008). While a recent evaluation found that of the 22 cases examined, only one punitive statement against the survivor was made by a perpetrator (Koss, 2014), researchers have found a minority of survivors who have had negative experiences of a restorative justice conference (Strang et al., 2006, Wemmers, 2002Shapland et al., 2007). While survivors are, therefore, seeking a voice, questions remain around the extent to which existing practice enables this in a safe and survivor-focussed manner. ...
Chapter
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In recent years, a small number of studies have investigated the use and impact of restorative justice in cases of sexual violence. While initial findings are broadly positive, the studies are constrained by small sample sizes. This chapter contributes to this emerging body of evidence by sharing the preliminary findings of a study investigating the justice perspectives of a group of sexual violence survivors. This study does not provide a specific analysis of the experiences of those who have engaged in restorative approaches. Rather, it examines the insights of sexual violence survivors on their understandings of 'justice', particularly the concepts of recognition, voice and consequences. In considering the extent to which restorative justice may or may not meet these justice interests, we suggest that some restorative approaches may provide an opportunity to satisfy some elements of the survivors' understandings of justice. Nonetheless, survivors' concepts of justice extend well beyond both the conventional criminal justice system and restorative approaches, such that a far broader, kaleidoscopic, understanding of justice needs to be considered. It is widely accepted that conventional criminal justice systems fail to meet the needs and interests of sexual violence survivors. As a result, there is widespread debate over the possibility of developing and introducing more innovative means of securing justice, including a range of restorative approaches. Such approaches are being considered both as a means of reshaping or re-orientating the conventional criminal justice system, as well as for their potential to provide alternative justice responses beyond the conventional system. However, discussion regarding the potential of restorative approaches to offer some measure of justice for sexual violence survivors has largely proceeded at a conceptual level due to the limited opportunities for restorative justice to be used in this field. While it is vital that we engage in thoughtful analysis of the principles and concepts underpinning any use of restorative approaches in cases of sexual violence, the debate can make only limited progress in an empirical vacuum. Nonetheless, over the last few years, a small number of studies investigating the use and impact of restorative approaches in cases of sexual violence have been published (Daly). These studies examine the impact of a range of restorative approaches and include the experiences and perspectives of survivors of sexual violence, though they are constrained by small sample sizes. The aim of this chapter is to contribute to this emerging body of evidence by sharing the preliminary findings of a study investigating the justice perspectives of a group of sexual * Clare McGlynn is a Professor of Law at Durham University. Nicole Westmarland is a Professor of Criminology at Durham University. Julia Downes is a Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy at the Open University. We would like to thank Judith Evans for her research assistance in undertaking this project.
... In light of victims' favourable attitudes toward RJ, the main question is not whether RJ programs that meet good practice standards should be offered to victims but how this should be done (Wemmers 2002). An offer made without regard for victims' concerns, we suspect, could be unsettling and less likely to be taken up. ...
Article
Independent studies reveal that when done properly, restorative justice (RJ) practices outperform criminal justice proceedings in meeting victims’ concerns for insight, voice, and fairness and, as a result, can have therapeutic value. However, only a small number of cases are referred to RJ, and victim-initiated RJ remains exceptional. Not every victim is interested in RJ, but many victims are unaware of it and hence miss out on its potential benefits. Introducing RJ to victims of crime should be done responsibly, and, therefore, it is important to understand whether and how victims want to be informed about RJ. We interviewed 34 victims of serious crime in Belgium and Canada and asked them what they had thought about being invited to participate in RJ. We categorized their experiences into what we labelled a “protective” and a “proactive” approach. A protective approach is characterized by an individualized offer and lack of systematic information about RJ, while a proactive approach favours a systematic offer and informed choice. Our findings indicate that victims of violent crime prefer to be proactively informed about their restorative options as long as the offer respects certain conditions. These include a guarantee of voluntary participation and RJ that is a complementary approach to criminal justice proceedings.
... Similar to other transitional justice forms, there is a growing critical literature on the meaning of reparative justice in post-war processes. 5 The fundamental argument of advocates of reparative justice and its main tool, reparations (both symbolic and material), is that, unlike trials, reparations are the most victim-centric of all transitional justice mechanisms (Wemmers 2002;Waldorf 2012;Walker 2016). Though reparation programmes are diverse, in their maximalist forms they offer acknowledgement, apologies, rehabilitation and commemorations as symbolic repair; and financial aid, social care and other services as redistributive compensation (see De Greiff 2006). ...
Article
This article explores the patterns of distribution of material reparations (compensation) for victims and veterans in post-1995 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Drawing on bottom-up approaches to reparative justice and critical peacebuilding, it explains the existing material reparation schemes in Bosnia as outcomes of the post-war transition and interests of the main transitional actors. It first explores the different approaches to war-related compensation for victim and veteran groups and then demonstrates that veterans have formed powerful pressure groups, drawing on extensive political and economic resources. Their organizations have been receiving socioeconomic support in exchange for electoral endorsement and public political support. As victims are fragmented ethno-nationally, by categories, and also lack capacities, their means to leverage the authorities for change are limited, even when matched with NGO and international support. This paper argues that unless material reparation is distributed in a transparent and consistent manner, it may create additional social cleavages and tensions.
... Reasons for the lack of use of the CCO: (a) financial ability of the offender The analysis of the existing Malaysian and international literature, legislative provisions, and judicial decision reveals that the financial ability of the offender often limits the opportunity for the court to use the CCO. For instance, Wemmers (2002) and Miers (2013) observe that the offenders' lack of means is the primary reason for rejecting CCO applications in the Canadian and English criminal justice systems. Similarly, Hanum claims that the Malaysian courts rarely invoking the jurisdiction of CCO is due to the lack of means of the offender (Hanum, 2003). ...
Conference Paper
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The relationship between illicit arms trade and terrorism is undeniably apparent as the world develops. Specifically, for terror that are transnational in nature, where the effects and contents of terror alters from one country to another. Although this phenomenon is almost impossible to eradicate, preventive efforts by the international community must still be taken. Various approaches have been sought through by nations in order to minimize terrorism and its cross-border effects. The Global Index of Terrorism shows that the availability of arms access in a country is linked to the intensity of conflict and terrorist attack that it will invite. This proves that there is a correlation between the international trade of arms and growth of terrorism. Indeed, not all forms of arms trade are illegal nor entirely legitimate either. All forms of illegal trade, particularly on arms starts off from a legitimate source. The flow of arms that enters the illicit market are drawn from methods of diversion. In order to prevent such disadvantage, states have arranged a few instruments such as the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The prior considered to be a major instrument of general trade adhered by many states. While the later has a more specific approach. Having different characteristics, both instruments are subject to weaknesses in governing international trade of arms. Thus, this article attempts to uncover the weaknesses and loopholes of the aforementioned instruments in relation for the prevention of transnational terrorism.
... Other evaluation studies have also highlighted co-option of RJ practices as a part of their overall findings (Choi et al., 2012). Several evaluation studies have reported that although many victims were satisfied with the way their case was dealt with, a smaller number of victims showed dissatisfaction or felt re-victimized after RJ practices (Morris & Maxwell, 1997;Strang, 2002;Wemmers, 2002;Wemmers & Cyr, 2005). Although the reasons varied and some were attributed to offenders' attitudes and behaviors rather than practices (Daly, 2003b;Gerkin, 2008), one of the most common reasons given for negative outcomes was lack of care and attention toward victims, such as lack of preparation for victims (Choi & Gilbert, 2010;Umbreit, Vos, Coates, & Lightfoot, 2005) or excessive focus on offenders Strang, 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
Restorative justice (RJ) encompasses a widely diverging set of practices whereby those most affected by crime are encouraged to meet, to discuss the effects of harms caused by one party to another, and to agree upon the best possible redress of harms when appropriate. In its inception in the late 1970s, RJ was conceptualized and developed as an alternative to formal criminal justice practices. Since this time, however, RJ has largely moved from being an alternative to criminal justice practices to an ‘alternative’ practice within criminal justice systems. This institutionalization has resulted in the significant growth of RJ practices, but has also resulted in RJ being used for criminal justice system goals that are at odds with the needs of victims or offenders. This paper examines the use of the Youth Justice Group Conferencing Program in Victoria, Australia. Drawing from interviews with conference conveners, our research highlights problems related to administrative ‘constraints’ and ‘co-options’ in conferencing in terms of referrals, preparation of conference participants, and victim participation. Following presentation of findings, we conclude with a discussion of implications for the use of RJ within a highly institutionalized setting.
... Therapeutic jurisprudence encourages legal actors to consider the impact of the law, legal processes and the roles played by those who apply the law, in order to reduce the harmful, anti-therapeutic effects of law, while enhancing the positive or therapeutic effects. Many supporters of restorative justice consider it a victim-friendly option, which offers victims more possibilities for participation, reparation and healing than the conventional criminal justice system (Dignan, 2007;Fattah, 1998;Roach, 1999;Wemmers, 2002). However, critics argue that without adequate consideration of victims' needs, restorative justice, like the conventional criminal justice system, risks using victims in order to advance its own goals (Van Camp, 2014;Wemmers, 2017). ...
... Other evaluation studies have also highlighted co-option of RJ practices as a part of their overall findings (Choi, Bazemore, & Gilbert, 2012). Several evaluation studies have reported that although many victims were satisfied with the way their case was dealt with, a smaller number of victims showed dissatisfaction or felt re-victimized after RJ practices (Morris & Maxwell, 1997;Strang, 2002;Wemmers, 2002;Wemmers & Cyr, 2005). Although the reasons varied and some were attributed to offenders' attitudes and behaviors rather than practices (Daly, 2003b;Gerkin, 2008), one of the most common reasons given for negative outcomes was lack of care and attention toward victims, such as lack of preparation for victims (Choi & Gilbert, 2010;Umbreit, Vos, Coates, & Lightfoot, 2005) or excessive focus on offenders Strang, 2002). ...
Preprint
Restorative justice (RJ) encompasses a widely diverging set of practices whereby those most affected by crime are encouraged to meet, to discuss the effects of harms caused by one party to another, and to agree upon the best possible redress of harms when appropriate. In its inception in the late 1970s, RJ was conceptualized and developed as an alternative to formal criminal justice practices. Since this time, however, RJ has largely moved from being an alternative to criminal justice practices to an ‘alternative’ practice within criminal justice systems. This institutionalization has resulted in the significant growth of RJ practices, but has also resulted in RJ being used for criminal justice system goals that are at odds with the needs of victims or offenders. This paper examines the use of the Youth Justice Group Conferencing Program in Victoria, Australia. Drawing from interviews with conference conveners, our research highlights problems related to administrative ‘constraints’ and ‘co-options’ in conferencing in terms of referrals, preparation of conference participants, and victim participation. Following presentation of findings, we concludewith a discussion of implications for the use of RJ within a highly institutionalized setting.
... Before considering correctional officer discretion further, it is profitable to consider related police literature, which offers a more substantial body of research. Of particular interest is police discretion on the use of diversion or restorative justice (RJ) measures as an alternative to formal criminal charges (Bazemore & Griffiths, 2003;Wemmers, 2002). At the police level, RJ has been touted as a method to provide a different response to crime, moving away from adversarial systems of determining guilt and punishment, and seeking instead to repair harms, using dialog to mediate disputes between parties. ...
Article
Full-text available
This mixed methods study uses official records and interviews with inmates and staff to compare misconduct in therapeutic communities (TC's) and the use of alternative resolutions (in lieu of formal charges by correctional officers) to other prison units. Prisoner misconduct has been studied using individual self-reports or aggregate prison rates, but unit level differences between TC's and other prison wings are often overlooked. Restorative justice and diversion approaches are much studied in the community corrections literature but correctional officer use of alternatives to charging, such as mediation, is not well understood. The study examines differences in prisoner behavior by unit function by comparing misconduct over a 24 month period in therapeutic communities to general population, worker, protective custody, mental health, and high risk units. Study findings show lower misconduct in TC's, including more serious misconduct such as fights. Furthermore, a significant proportion of overall charges were diverted into alternative resolution (AR)s, particularly within therapeutic communities. Interviewees reported a different approach taken in the TC toward discipline with a greater use of interaction, informal warnings, and application of AR, as opposed to formal charges. Future research is recommended using qualitative research strategies to appraise the alternative resolution decision process and prisoner-staff perceptions of discipline.
... but rather "how will restorative justice be implemented?" (Wemmers, 2002). This simple question contains multitudes. ...
... Alternatively, harmed people might not want to face polluters due to the worry and stress that such an encounter could bring. There is not a good reason why an unwanted interaction should be forced on them for the sake of satisfying a theoretical stipulation, a notion that is consistent with criticisms of RJ (Wemmers, 2002). ...
... RestorativejusticehasbeendefinedbyMarshallas'aprocesswherebyallpartieswithastakeina particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence andits implicationsforthe future (Marshall,1996, p.37)'.Inthe restorative perspective, crimeisnotviewedasamereinfractionofthelawbutasaninjuryoraconflict.Therefore,the objectiveofjusticeisconciliation.Therestorativeapproachfavourstheactiveparticipationofthe different parties involved, i.e. the victim, offender and community, and the facilitation of communication between these parties in order to find a solution for the damage caused by the crime (Van Ness, 1997;Van Ness & Heetderks Strong, 1997;Zehr & Mika, 1998;Roche, 2001;Umbreitetal.,2006).Inotherwords,restorativejusticegivesacentralroletovictimsofcrime. Researchonvictimsandrestorativejusticehasrepeatedlyshownthatvictims,includingvictimsof violent crimes, are generally very satisfied with restorative justice (Umbreit, 1989;Van Hecke & Wemmers, 1992;Umbreit & Bradshaw, 1997;Umbreit, Bradshaw & Coates, 1999;Wemmers & Canuto,2002).Moreover,comparativeresearchhasshownthatvictimstendtobemoresatisfied withrestorativejusticethanwiththetraditionalcriminaljusticesystem (Strang,2002;Shaplandet al.,2007).Thesestudiessuggestthattherestorativeapproachismoreeffectiveinrespondingto victims'needs,suchastheneedforreparation,participationandinformation,thanthetraditional criminal justice system (Braithwaite, 1999;Wemmers, 2002;Latimer, Dowden & Muise, 2005;Sherman & Strang, 2007). Moreover, restorative justice has been shown to have a therapeutic impact on victims (Wemmers & Cyr, 2005;Strang et al., 2006;Rugge & Scott,2009). ...
Experiment Findings
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The present study is a qualitative study with victims of violent crime who participated in restorative justice programs, which followed either of these approaches. Based on victims’ experiences and views, the authors present a model procedure on how to offer restorative justice to victims.
Article
Commentators have frequently claimed that restorative justice (RJ) programs hold the potential to deliver therapeutic outcomes. However, if we are serious about integrating a therapeutic agenda into criminal justice, our current understanding of the mechanics of RJ is incomplete. Having established a case for doing justice better, proponents of RJ now need to think in much more concrete terms about the ways in which the process is designed in order to reap a tangible sense of forgiveness, reconciliation, and closure for victims of crime. From the evidence to date, it is suggested that there are four ‘keys’ which may be used to unlock the therapeutic potential of RJ. These are: (1) personal narratives; (2) apology; (3) forgiveness; and (4) procedural justice within restorative programs. A major challenge for future research in the area is to attempt to measure how these aspects of RJ operate at a micro-level to transform emotions.
Article
This qualitative study examined the multiple perspectives of participants' experiences of a Victim Offender Mediation (VOM) program operating in a Midwestern city. Thirty-four face-to-face interviews were conducted with 37 participants, including juvenile offenders and their parents, adult crime victims, mediators, and referral sources. The findings indicate disparities exist between the juvenile offenders and their victims in their perceptions of the genuineness of the apology delivered. The nature of apology is explored and its meaning in the restorative justice context is set out. This study provides a snapshot of the process and practice of restorative justice work. In particular, this study highlights the complicated nature of communication between and among VOM participants. Recommendations are made to improve victim-sensitive restorative justice practices through the composition and delivery of the apology.
Article
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The transposition of Directive 2014/104 on private damages actions marks an important development in the setting up of a harmonised private competition law enforcement regime across different EU Member States. Coupled with deterrence-focused public enforcement, the European Union has taken a necessary and welcomed step towards enhancing justice for all those individuals and competitors damaged by competition law infringements. This article argues, however, that the current emphasis on balancing public and private enforcement of the European Commission focuses too little on the need and healing effects of restoration. At the same time, the Directive contains a promising restorative justice opening by virtue of its Article 18. Starting from that opening, the article will propose a more developed way forward, taking the form of the setup and development of so-called antitrust “trust funds”. Exploring the legal possibilities and limits of such funds, the article questions to what extent this approach could be a useful complementary way to overcome the limits identified. It will be submitted that, although it is legally possible to set up those trust funds under EU law, important practical questions have to be addressed prior to doing so. Having outlined the potential features and limits of this approach, the article additionally calls for more and comparative research to be performed in this area.
Article
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This chapter reviews debates about the use of Restorative Justice (RJ) for gendered violence. It identifies theoretical and empirical limitations to the capacity of generic models of RJ to promote victim interests for such offences. Part 2 considers gendered violence in Indigenous communities and notes that research and commentary often fails to recognise Indigenous women's need and interests. It concludes that the best way forward is to move beyond oppositional contrasts between RJ and criminal justice to develop hybrid models that adopt anti-subordination as a principle, supported by the requisite resources to protect that end, in working towards safe and just outcomes.
Article
This exploratory qualitative study examined victims' experiences in a Victim Offender Mediation (VOM). The focus was on the needs of the victims and to what extent the needs were met through VOM. In addition to prolonged observations, we conducted 34 interviews with VOM participants from four completed VOM cases that were processed in one mid-sized Midwestern city in the United States. Victims identified three critical needs: 1) sharing victimization; 2) acquiring further information; and 3) receiving a sincere apology. Victims indicated that the first two activities deepened their understandings about the incidents and consequently led them to be empowered. However, the lack of receiving a perceived sincere apology was in contrast. We discuss this gap through the lens of empowerment theories and make recommendations to promote empowering restorative justice for victims.
Article
Restorative justice has developed in the past few years due to the verifiable benefits of providing an alternative conflict resolution approach which favors remedies, out-ofcourt arrangements and dialogue between the parties directly involved in disputes. Despite being mostly applied within the sphere of criminal justice -especially within the juvenile criminal justice system in force in many countries- the philosophy of restorative justice has affected other areas of social conflict such as domestic violence and violence against women. Analyzing how other countries apply Restorative Justice in cases of domestic violence and of violence against women, provides Uruguay with a framework to streamline the efforts towards providing victims, offenders, and communities with quality law enforcement processes primarily focused on a comprehensive restoration for all those involved.
Article
Corrective measures and remediation efforts aimed at alleviating the conditions of environmental injustice usually depend on federal or state funding. However, such resources could disappear, leaving marginalized communities without the necessary means to mitigate environmental harm. Participatory Budgeting (PB), a process that allows residents to work with municipal governments to decide on community projects, holds promise as a surrogate source of funding. When examining the character of such an enterprise, however, one finds that it does not exactly fit within established paradigms of environmental justice. To account for this condition, one must examine how PB restructures the power dynamics that determine cleanup protocols. The paper ends by highlighting some avenues that municipalities can pursue to incorporate this process into existing budgeting strategies.
Article
This paper describes how victims of violence experience their initial meeting with the Danish police and the time that follows. Based on observations of police-victim encounters and interviews with victims, we explore how victims’ rights are brought into play when victims report crimes to the police. Such rights are meant to help victims cope with their situation. However, our study shows that rights are not always adhered to and are at times administered in ways that suit the needs of the criminal justice system more than those of victims. Our study also shows that rights do not always reflect the needs of victims. We point to the incremental development and piecemeal nature of victims’ rights in Denmark as a possible explanation for the current state of affairs.
Article
As the research and practice of restorative justice has grown, conversations have been ongoing about how to define and evaluate such practices. In this conceptual review, we argue for the utility and importance of adopting a communication perspective (Pearce, 1989, Communication and the human condition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, IL.) for defining, evaluating, and practicing restorative justice. We begin by describing a communication perspective before reviewing scholarly literature regarding defining and evaluating restorative justice. We also illustrate how a communication perspective can prompt useful questions about defining, evaluating, facilitating, and administering restorative justice. We conclude with a discussion of implications for research, facilitation, and organizational administration.
Chapter
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Reviews suggest that Restorative Justice (RJ) ‘works better with crimes involving personal victims ... with violent crimes more consistently than with property crimes ... [and] victims benefit, on average, from face-to-face RJ conferences’ (Sherman and Strang 2007:8). Why then is there such caution about using RJ for gendered violence? In this paper I draw on research concerning gendered violence and RJ to argue that caution is well advised, and that generic models of RJ may be poorly equipped to deal with the needs of victims of gendered violence, and entail risks. I also argue that restorative justice demands more from participants than conventional justice, which has implications for victims’ safety and expectations of the victim’s role.
Article
Purpose This paper aims to use the theory of planned behavior to evaluate factors that influence openness to participating in a victim-offender conference (VOC). Design/methodology/approach Consistent with theory of planned behavior recommendations, the study uses a vignette-based design to assess participation openness as willingness to participate in a VOC if they were victims of a property crime. It evaluates the goodness of fit of a hypothesized structural model of participation openness to the data and the utility of a theory of planned behavior model as opposed to simply an outcome-driven model. Findings Findings from a hierarchical linear regression illustrate that a theory of planned behavior model explains a greater percentage of participation willingness than does an outcome-driven model. Analysis using structural equation modeling suggests that participation openness is largely a function of subjective norms, anticipated affect and anticipated outcomes. Research limitations/implications Limitations spring largely from sampling method and research design. Research implications pertain to the utility of theory of planned behavior in expanding research of VOC participation openness to include not only outcomes but also relational and contextual factors. Practical implications The manuscript identifies several implications for training facilitators, talking with prospective VOC participants and advocating for restorative justice programs. Originality/value Use of the theory of planned behavior as a lens for understanding openness to VOC participation gives researchers and practitioners a wider and more nuanced understanding of why people would generally be willing to participate in a VOC if they were the victim of an offense.
Chapter
Therapeutic jurisprudence is an interdisciplinary approach to law that offers a rich way of looking at law and to study the extent to which legal rules, procedures or practice promote the psychological well-being of the people it affects. Law is a tool and people who engage the criminal justice system do so for a reason. As such it is important to consider the extent to which legal procedures meet victims’ expectations. In this chapter, we examine victims’ expectations regarding their role in the criminal justice system. Following a discussion of recent international policy developments regarding victims of crime and victims of violence against women in particular, we consider possible gender differences and how the victim’s relationship with the offender affects their expectations, including the awareness of possible future victimization.
Article
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Law enforcement officials and the public are said to hold the stereotype that it is difficult to prosecute cases involving nonforcible sex crimes with willing adolescent victims. The authors examine prosecution outcomes in nonforcible Internet-related sex crimes with adolescent victims and extra-familial adult defendants. Data are from a national sample of law enforcement officers and prosecutors (N = 77). Most (91%) of the defendants are convicted, usually via a guilty plea (77%). Results show that even when victim cooperation is lacking or victims willingly engage in sexual activity, defendants are convicted. A small group of defendants are not convicted, and certain conditions appear to contribute to this, including victims' untruthfulness, defendants giving victims illegal drugs or alcohol, and lack of a confession from the defendant. Most defendants, however, are sentenced to incarceration and required to register as sex offenders. The findings show promise for holding defendants accountable for this type of crime.
Article
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Research on the use of victim impact statements at the sentencing stage shows that they have therapeutic advantages for victims, and that they enhance the quality of sentencing decisions. Contrary to the fears of some legal professionals, victim impact statements affect proportionality of sentencing rather than harshness. In the light of the research it is argued that the use of victim impact statements should be encouraged and increased.
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A study into the treatment of victims in the Dutch criminal justice system and its effects on their attitudes and behaviour. In particular, it examines victims' procedural justice judgements as their cases proceed in the criminal justice system and how victims' experiences impact their trust and confidence in authorities and their law-abiding behaviour.
Chapter
The reactions of victims to the criminal justice system and to society’s attempts to assist them cannot be understood without, first, considering the effects of crime on the victim. These effects are not confined to the immediate consequences of the offense – physical injury, shock, loss of property, time off work or financial losses. They can intrude into most of the areas of the victim’s life – producing a change in his relationships with members of his family, neighbors, friends or work colleagues. There are also the costs involved in being a victim in the criminal justice system.
Article
Restorative justice is one of the most talked about developments in the field of crime and justice. Its advocates and practitioners argue that state punishment, society's customary response to crime, neither meets the needs of crime victims nor prevents reoffending. In its place, they suggest, should be restorative justice, in which families and communities of offenders encourage them to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions, express repentance and repair the harm they have done.
Article
Crime victims in 1992 lost $17.6 billion in direct costs, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). These costs included losses from property theft or damage, cash losses, medical expenses, and amount of pay lost because of injury or activities related to the crime. The crimes included in this figure are rape, robbery, assault, personal and household theft, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. Crimes include attempts as well as completed offenses. • Economic loss of some kind occurred in 71o/a of all personal crimes. These crimes included rape, robbery, assault, and personal theft. For crimes of violence (rape, .Obbery, assault) economic loss occurred in 23% of vic-timizations. Household crimes of burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft involved economic loss in 91 % of all victimizations.
Article
This article explores the relationship between the idea that offenders should make reparation to their victims and the principle of ‘just deserts’ or strict proportionality between seriousness of offence and severity of punishment. Some have queried whether these notions are compatible with each other, suggesting that there is relatively little scope for reparative measures in a criminal justice system soundly based on the principle of just deserts. We defend the reparative principle, arguing that reparation should play a significant rôle in a criminal justice system based on the human rights of victims as well as offenders. Such a rights-based approach also has an important place for the retributive notion of just deserts, but strict proportionality is rejected in favour of an approach whereby the offender's just deserts set upper and lower limits on the sanctions which may be imposed on the offender. Within these limits there should be scope for both victims and offenders to have a say in the nature, form and amount of reparation which is appropriate.
Article
Samples of crime victims (burglary, robbery, felonious assault) and nonvictims were compared to examine the short-term differential and generalized effects of crime on psychological, behavioral, and attitudinal measures. Victims were more likely to report experiencing higher levels of vulnerability, fear, and symptomology, and lower levels of self-efficacy. Also, victims were more likely to engage in protective behaviors. There were fewer differences, however, among the three groups of crime victims. Burglary victims were more likely to report feeling vulnerable and fearful, while assault victims were more likely to express more negative views of the police.
Article
The "victims' movement" can claim considerable success in putting the interests of crime victims on the political agenda in North America and Europe. Pioneering groups of volunteers and activists laid the groundwork for financial, practical, and psychological support services that are now funded by government on a significant scale. In the United States, legislation creates rights for victims to participate in the criminal justice process. It has not been firmly established how many (and what kinds of) victims are seriously in need of assistance, or what form this should take: research findings are contradictory and confusing, plagued by methodological and definitional problems. Service delivery also presents difficult dilemmas because many victims will not ask for help; high take-up rates emerge only when a personal approach is made. Although there is evidence of high levels of client satisfaction with victim services, research has not established that service provision greatly affects recovery from the ...
Article
More weight is now being given in many criminal justice systems to the needs and wishes of victims. Few jurisdictions, however, have gone as far as the recently introduced system of’ youth justice in New Zealand. There, a meeting is arranged between the victim (or their representatives), the young person who committed the offence, his or her family and a police officer to decide the appropriate response to the offending. The arguments behind this were that it would increase victims' satiSfaction, enhance the prospects of reconciliation and provide a more effective means of restitution and reparation. In this article, we examine the extent to which these objectives have been met.
Victim Offender Mediation in Belgium
  • I Aertsen
Aertsen, I. (2000). Victim Offender Mediation in Belgium. In Victim-Offender Mediation in Europe: Making restorative justice work. (European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice, ed.) pp. 153-192. Leuven University Press; Leuven.
Victims' Rights, Defendants' Rights and Criminal Procedure
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Ashworth, A. (2000). Victims' Rights, Defendants' Rights and Criminal Procedure. In Integrating a Victim Perspective within Criminal Justice (A. Crawford and J. Goodey, eds) pp. 185-206.
Formal Response of the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre to N.S. Department of Justice: The Restorative Justice Program. Submitted to the Nova Scotia Department of Justice
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Avalon (1999). Formal Response of the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre to N.S. Department of Justice: The Restorative Justice Program. Submitted to the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, September 1999.
Victims of Reported Crime -Their Expectations, Needs and Perspectives. An Inquiry of Crime Victims Concerning Victim Protection, Victim Support and Mediation
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Baurmann, M. and Schadler, W. (1991). Victims of Reported Crime -Their Expectations, Needs and Perspectives. An Inquiry of Crime Victims Concerning Victim Protection, Victim Support and Mediation. In Victims and Criminal Justice (G. Kaiser, H. Kury and H.-J. Albrecht, eds) Volume 52/1, pp. 3-27. Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Penal Law; Freiburg LBr.
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Blanchette, J. (1996). Une Equiti Ii Toute Mesure: Enquete aupres de victims de jeunes contrevenants. Alternative Jeunesse Richelieu-Yamaska; Saint-Hyacinthe, QC.
An Empirical Assessment
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Coates, R.B. and Gehm, J. (1989). An Empirical Assessment. In Mediation andCriminal Justice: Victims, Offenders and Community (M. Wright and B. Galaway, eds) pp. 251-263. Sage Publications; London.
Repairing the Damage
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Dignan, J. (1992). Repairing the Damage, British Journal ofCriminology, 32 (4), 453-472.
A Critical Assessment of Two Justice Paradigms: Contrasting the Restorative and Retributive Justice Models
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Fattah, E. (1998). A Critical Assessment of Two Justice Paradigms: Contrasting the Restorative and Retributive Justice Models. In Support for crime victims in a comparative perspective (Ezzat Fattah and Tony Peters, eds) pp. 99-110. Leuven University Press; Leuven.
Mediated Victim-Offender Restitution Agreements: An Exploratory Analysis of Factors Related to Victim Participation
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