Response by Dr Martin Wright to European Commission consultation document: Taking action on rights, support and protection of victims of crime and violence
The key to this reply is in the last answer: that in principle restorative justice practices should be available to all victims, subject only to the safeguards mentioned in the reply to Question 17. Restorative processes are in the interests not only of victims, but also of offenders and the community.
Victim-offender dialogue is valuable as an end in itself as well as a means to an end. For many victims, action to make the offender less likely to re-offend is at least as high on their list of priorities as monetary compensation or reparation through work. When the victim and offender agree on one of these methods of reparation, it is incumbent on the community to provide the resources to enable offenders to carry them out.
Victim shows compassion for bat-wielding assailant in Coupeville attack
From the article by Jessie Stensland in The Seattle Post Intelligencer:
One of the most serious assault cases in Coupeville in recent memory culminated in what a judge described as “a very unusual and heartwarming situation.”
Judge Alan Hancock lauded the victim, the defendant, the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney for taking part in a rare meeting that occurred prior to last Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.
“It’s an almost unprecedented situation for the court to hear about such a meeting,” Hancock said. “This is restorative justice, folks.”
Ryan Marti, a 17-year-old Coupeville boy, could have faced a decade in adult prison if either the prosecutor or victim had insisted that he go to trial in adult criminal court on a charge of first-degree assault.
Instead, a plea bargain moved the case in juvenile court, where Marti pleaded guilty to assault in the second degree. He will serve about two years in a juvenile detention facility.
Victim Support: The SORI Programme and Restorative Justice
From the article by Own Sharp on info 4 security:
The arrival of the coalition Government in Westminster has prompted some fierce debate about the future of the criminal justice system and the rehabilitation of offenders.
There has been talk about a ‘rehabilitation revolution’ to cut reoffending, while the role of short sentences has been questioned as part of a sentencing review which will report next month.
As part of this debate, ministers have expressed an interest in restorative justice which we at Victim Support believe could benefit victims, cut reconvictions and, as a result, save the taxpayer money.
It’s a concept that has been put into practice in Wales and other parts of the UK, and gives victims the chance to tell offenders the real impact of their crime, to derive answers to their questions and to receive an apology.
In addition, it helps many victims get on with their lives while giving offenders an understanding of the real impact of what they have done, as well as a chance to do something to repair the harm.
Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime
by Eric Assur
Not too many years ago Restorative Justice (RJ) was introduced, or artfully expounded on, by Howard Zehr. Now we have what appears to be a similarly unique view of the victim of crime topic through new and different lenses. The author, a seasoned and well credentialed victim advocate, and the National Center for Victims of Crime now offer an enlightening commentary and daunting challenge regarding the state of victim services. The book recommends a new way to do business, a paradigm shift to what is now labeled, Parallel Justice (PJ).
Blackburn father wants to meet his son's killer
The father of a man who died from a single punch in Blackburn town centre wants to meet his son’s killer.
William Upton, 17, is currently serving half of a three-and-a-half year custodial sentence after he was convicted of the manslaughter of 24-year-old Adam Rogers, earlier this year.
Now Adam’s dignified dad Dave Rogers has expressed a wish to speak face-to-face with the Rishton teenager as part of a ‘restorative justice’ initiative.
Prisoners wait in wings
from the story by Polly Rippon in The Star:
A prisoner serving time for breaking into a vicarage met the victim of his crime for the first time after inviting him to a play about restorative justice at Doncaster Prison.
In an emotional meeting the offender, who can't be named, apologised to the priest at the end of the performance and shook his hand as he left the stage.
Restorative Justice Conferencing: The key for victims is in one question.
from Kris Miner's entry on Restorative Justice and Circles:
....One area of Restorative Justice Professionalism I focus on, is remembering ALL victims. Some victims do not get a victim-witness worker through the prosecutor’s office. The list of Victims Rights for Wisconsin is very court-room, criminal justice system process orientated. That’s good, victims need support and help navigating that. What I do is restorative justice, and in striving to do that well for all victims I have experienced a conferencing question that is KEY.
Jeremy Prince: Contrition and conviction
There is an important lesson underscoring the willingness of Jeremy Prince to forgive those accused of having tormented his daughter Phoebe just prior to her suicide: a critical factor in assessing the appropriate level of punishment is how offenders react in the aftermath of their crimes.
European Commission's Victims' Package: Consultation on taking action on rights, support and protection of victims of crime and violence
The Commission intends to adopt a package of measures, including a Directive on minimum standards for victims of crime, in the first half of 2011 in particular to replace the 2001 Framework Decision on the standing of victims. This consultation gives stakeholders the opportunity to present their views about which concrete actions could be developed at EU level that would bring real added value. It will also give the Commission an insight into concrete experiences of those working with victims of crime, particularly regarding the difficulties they encounter when assisting victims and the problems faced by those victims. The Commission is looking in particular for reliable data, factual information and specific real-life examples, regarding both problems and solutions.
Criminals could cut sentences by saying ‘sorry’
Tens of thousands of offenders may be able to reduce their sentences by making personal apologies to their victims, under plans for a “rehabilitation revolution” in the criminal justice system.
Crispin Blunt, the prisons minister, is considering the move as part of a drive to offer victims the chance to come face-to-face with the person who committed the crime against them. A report released today by two charities, Victim Support and the Restorative Justice Consortium, suggests the policy could save £185m in two years by cutting reoffending.