Letting victims define justice
....There is a growing myth that for victims, justice requires tougher penalties. If only it was that simple. There is no evidence that punishment is as important to the majority of victims as some would have us believe. When asked in one study why they reported the crime, sexual assault victims listed punishment of the offender very low on their list of priorities.
by Lynette Parker:
As I was browsing through Twitter feeds I saw a comment about an offensive apology letter. Of course I clicked the link to read the letter. I had to agree with Victim Support UK; the letter was offensive and disrespectful. I also agreed with the Twitter comment from Why Me?, “The problem with That Letter is there was no preparation first.”
I am meeting with the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights this morning.
This is what I will be saying.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am pleased to have this opportunity to address you and the rest of the committee regarding Bill C-10, The Safe Streets & Community Act.
....My daughter, Candace, was 13 years old when she was abducted and found murdered six weeks later. We lived without knowing the details of what happened for two decades.
Restorative practices in Hungary: An ex-prisoner is reintegrated into the community
from the article by Vidia Negrea:
As the representative of Community Service Foundation of Hungary, the Hungarian affiliate of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), I participated in a group session of the Hungarian Crime Prevention and Prison Mission Foundation in summer 2009 (Sycamore Tree Project — or Zacchaeus Program in Hungary). There I met the governor of Balassagyarmat prison, where inmates were working in groups on issues related to their crimes and exploring ways to repair relationships they had damaged.
Some inmates began accepting responsibility for what they had done and were motivated to make things right and earn forgiveness of victims and their families. Prisoners made symbolic reparation in the form of community service within the prison, but there was still a lot to do to create opportunities for offenders to make contact with victims and shed the stigma of their offense by means of direct reparation. Also, prison management believed it important to support processes, acceptable to victimized families and communities, to help prisoners regain control of their lives and prevent reoffending.
Crime victims turning to restorative justice
from the article by Frazer Maude on Sky News:
...[F]or an increasing number of victims, restorative justice has helped them move on with their lives in a way they never thought possible.
Joanne Nodding is one such victim. She told Sky News how she feared for her life when she was raped almost 10 years ago, and how even seeing her attacker being sentenced to life did little to help her achieve closure.
Penn State's response to child sexual abuse: What about the victims?
by Lisa Rea
As the story comes out in more detail about the alleged sexual abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State, the coverage of the story seems to be more about the actions of veteran coach Joe Paterno--his resignation or the university's decision to fire him.
from the video by Marilyn Armour:
Jason Shippy (student): I think the biggest surprise that I learned is that victims of crimes actually want to talk about the offense and actually kind of get a little upset that even people who are fairly close to them just pretend like the crime never happened or that the person who was murdered never existed.
Father of Adam Rogers meets son’s teenage killer in prison
Adam Rogers’s father and his teenage killer have come face to face in an ‘emotional’ prison meeting.
.... Dave Rogers who has campaigned with wife Pat for an end to senseless violence in their 24-year-old son’s memory, said he would recommend the ‘restorative justice’ process to other grieving families.
Mum takes family crime fight into jails
From the article by Jane Hammond in the West Australia:
The mother of a 15-year-old schoolgirl murdered by a teenage love rival has called for compassion for prisoners and their families.
In an emotional address to an ecumenical service in St Mary's Cathedral for Anti-Poverty Week, Karen Lang described how the brutal murder of her only daughter devastated the close-knit family.
The meeting: Jo's story - Surviving rape
From the Restorative Justice Council's website:
This new DVD resource from the RJC follows the story of Jo Nodding, a victim of serious crime who met her offender.
Below are excerpts from Jo's story:
In 2004 I was raped by a boy I knew. For weeks afterwards I was in a daze trying to cope with what had happened not only to me, but also to my family. He didn’t plead guilty to the rape to start with, so I had the extra worry of the trial, but that changed once he was presented with the DNA evidence. The first time I faced him was in Court when he received a life sentence.
Almost a year later I had a visit from the probation Victim Liaison Officer and she mentioned the possibility of restorative justice - of a meeting with Darren. From that time on it was always at the back of my mind. I knew as soon as she said it that I wanted to meet him because this was about me taking control of the situation, re-balancing what he had taken away from me that day. The judge had said to Darren in Court ‘you have destroyed this woman’s life’ – but that wasn’t what I wanted, and that wasn’t how I saw it.