Crime victims meet offenders in new restorative justice programme
A mother said it “felt good” to look a burglar in the eye and explain the damage he caused her family.
Tracey Clift sat down with the thief who took irreplaceable items including the medal her grandfather had won in the First World War and a charm bracelet from her father.
She went to meet him in Lewes Prison, where the burglar is serving time for other crimes, almost five years after he broke into her Worthing home via the kitchen window and stole “most of our family history” from the safe.
Oscar Pistorius' sentence: A missed opportunity?
from the post by Mike Batley on Restorative Justice Centre in South Africa:
The sentence that Judge Masipa has decided on reflects the careful balancing act required of a diligent sentencing officer. She has taken the calls by the State for direct imprisonment into account but not to the extent the prosecutor wanted; she has taken into account the call by the defence for Oscar to make a contribution to society by not imposing as lengthy a term of imprisonment as she could have....
These are some of the broader dimensions that could have been explored:
Project Turnaround earns kudos
When it comes to exceptional service and notable results, Timaru's restorative justice programme is leading the way. The Ministry of Justice-funded programme, known locally as Project Turnaround, ranked No 1 out of 22 national providers in a recent survey.
Charities share £145k to help crime victims
from the article in the Oxford Mail:
Five charities in Oxfordshire have been given more than £145,000 in funding to help develop services for victims of crime.
Study finds executions do little to heal victims’ families
from the article on PsychCentral:
A new study suggests that the primary reason people say they support the death penalty is based on an incorrect assumption — that the death of the murderer would bring satisfaction and closure to the victim’s family.
The study itself does not advocate for the death penalty or for life without the possibility of parole (LWOP). It is the first study, however, dealing directly with whether capital punishment affects the healing of murder victims’ loved ones.
On the defensive: The need for restorative justice
from the article by Anthony Cotton on The Wisconsin Law Journal:
In 1993, the Wisconsin Constitution was amended to give crime victims certain privileges.
Those privileges include, but are not limited to, restitution, compensation, the right to confer with the prosecution and the right to speak at sentencing.
Editorial: The best arena for victim redress?
from the article in the Sage e-bulletin from the Church Council on Justice and Corrections:
Can the justice system ever be the arena for victims’ redress if redress means true healing and moving on from trauma and its effects? A criminal justice system built on punitive measures and adversarial posturing exacerbates the victim wound and creates even more layers of self protection against active resolution of one’s own wounding and the wounding one does to another. Further the judicial system is the state’s arena, not the victim’s, for redress against crimes committed and therefore its capacity to adequately redress victims’ needs where those needs are most required is difficult at best. Victims are left with insufficient avenues to get to the root of needed healing. And incarceration that does not consistently include those rehabilitation options that contribute to victim redress, does not hold real solutions to changing behaviour or creating public and victim safety in the long term.
Archdiocese walks with violence victims’ families through ‘ministry of presence’
from the article by Edison Tapalla:
In October 2012, the Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of San Francisco began the Restorative Justice Ministry for Victims and Families of Violent Crime.
Working closely with the city of San Francisco, the ministry helps the families of victims of violent crime navigate the period of time when a loved one is lost. In addition to helping with survivors’ loss and grief, the ministry also helps with funeral arrangements, translations, paperwork and – in cases of extreme need – expenses.
Restorative Justice: Is the Message Getting Through?
From the article by Javed Khan:
It's funny how you find out that you're winning the argument.
I was watching EastEnders when I realised attitudes towards restorative justice were really shifting.
The episode showed Kat Moon meeting Ronnie Mitchell - the woman who had stolen Kat's baby - at the prison gates.
It was an intense and dramatic scene ending with Kat inviting Ronnie to stay with her, despite her continuing anger at the crime.
For years we have been arguing that victims want more than just punishment for their offenders - they want them to stop committing crimes and to understand the impact of those crimes. In some cases, victims even want a face-to-face explanation from the criminal about why they committed the offence.
Vision 21: Transforming victim services. Final report
from the report released by the Office for Victims of Crime:
...The discussions that formed the basis for Vision 21 demonstrated that only a truly comprehensive and far-reaching approach would achieve the vast changes needed to move the field forward. Stakeholders saw that a holistic approach to victims’ needs is essential but will require unprecedented collaboration among service providers, an ongoing challenge for the field.