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.
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.
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.
Crime victims treated like the 'poor relation'
The first commissioner for victims of crime in England and Wales says the criminal justice system treats them as a poor relation and an afterthought.
Too often victims found themselves a "sideshow" as police, prisons, lawyers and the courts focused on the offender, Louise Casey said.
She said too much time was spent trying to help all crime victims, rather than focusing on those in genuine need.
Let's talk it over
Course road test: Bachelor of arts (advocacy and mediation) at Victoria University
Sounds a bit different . . .
Funny you should say that. This three-year degree, at VU's Footscray Park campus in Melbourne's west, is unusual, says course co-ordinator Deborah Tyler, who adds that there is nothing else quite like it in Australia. The course brings together elements of social policy, law and conflict-resolution training, preparing students for positions involving advocacy or mediation on behalf of disadvantaged groups or individuals involved in conflict.
At this prison graduation, the focus is on knowing the effects of their crimes
....During this season of high school and college graduations, 16 men received a very different kind of diploma Monday at Columbia Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison.
Over three months, the inmates voluntarily completed a 30-session course on restorative justice, a curriculum meant to help them understand how much they'd harmed their victims, the community and themselves. For some of them, Monday's graduation ceremony was the first time they'd done anything worthy of even minimal praise.
"I've been in all sorts of programs and always been kicked out," said Darren Morris, 33, whose peers voted him class speaker.
It's time to make the punishment fit the white-collar crime
from the Nelson Mail (NZ) editorial:
....it's not easy to maintain a clear-eyed focus on justice.
Very few New Zealanders will feel that this is what happened when Blue Chip co-founder Mark Bryers entered the dock on Thursday to be sentenced on 34 charges. Most, and particularly the Blue Chip investors who have lost their nest eggs, will feel that his sentence was a perfect case of the "slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket".
Church arsonist doubts God will forgive him
A man who torched two Wetaskiwin churches in what a judge described as a "totally senseless wanton act of destruction" was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.
But he was offered hope by one of the ministers whose church was destroyed.
"We have not been abandoned and we don't want you, Peter Terence Jones, to feel abandoned," Wetaskiwin First United Church minister Ruth Lumax told the 24-year-old arsonist in her victim impact statement, which was read in court.