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.
Restorative Justice Conference between R and Mr Q
from the case report by Mark Creitzman:
It was at this point, that Mr Q mentioned that he felt that he would like to be able to forgive R by the end of the meeting and that he had a challenge for R to consider.
Mr Q asked R if he was up to a challenge and he nodded ‘Yes’. Mr Q said that if R could prove that he wanted to change the path of his life and made progress in Cookham Wood, that on his exit from the YOI, Mr Q would mentor him and support him through his transition. Mr Q told us that his long-term plan could involve R and himself using the negativity of the offence and turning it in to a ‘power for good’ and delivering sessions to schools, YOIs, colleges or universities.
Restorative Justice offers an alternative to traditional criminal process
Everyone makes mistakes, and the City of Fort Collins and Colorado State University have Restorative Justice programs which allow legal mistakes to be handled through conferencing instead of through the courts.
Perrie McMillin, program coordinator for Restorative Justice in Fort Collins, said the program allows individuals to take part in a mediated conversation between the person who caused the harm and those who were affected. The conversation addresses the harm that was caused and how to remedy it.
PCC Grove plans restorative justice expansion 'to give victims a bigger say'
....Restorative justice, which allows victims to have a say in how the offender is punished, is already being used by Humberside Police, but police and crime commissioner Matthew Grove wants to expand the practice.
This could involve victims meeting the offender face-to-face for an apology or the offender repairing or paying for any damage caused.
Restorative Justice Hub to be developed in Cheshire
from the article in the Chester Chronicle:
Victim Support, the charity that provides support for victims and witnesses of crime are developing a Restorative Justice Hub after receiving £93,500 from, the police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer’s Capability and Capacity Building fund....
Actions and consequences: How restorative justice can help victims move on
from the article by Javed Khan:
If you were a victim of crime, would you want to meet the offender?
What would you say to them?
A burglary victim might, for example, want to talk about the inconvenience, the hassle of sorting out the mess and replacing what has been stolen.
They could spell out that some things - just objects to an outsider - are completely irreplaceable, and how sentimental value outweighs any financial cost.
But we all know that actions have unintended consequences, and burglary isn't just about what's been taken, it's about what's been left behind too.
Compulsory Mediation within Civil and Criminal Law: Good, Bad, or Just Plain Daft
From the article on ILennon: A Comment on Legal Developments:
...Mediation is a process which carries with it undeniable successes, and which when used in the right circumstances is a altogether good thing, providing access to justice, a speedy and affordable process and a way of resolving disputes in a manner designed to restore and preserve relationships. “In all dispute resolution methods there is always pressure for change”[i], one such change mediation faces is the possibility of being made a compulsory precursor to litigation. This paper takes a short but critical look at the possible outcomes if a statutory requirement meant that mediation become compulsory within Civil and Criminal claims.
Consistency and proportionality in victim-offender mediation agreements
from the article by Caryn Saxon on Mediate.com:
As restorative victim offender mediation programs continue to gain ground within the criminal justice system, more community organizations committed to restorative justice values and initiatives are collaborating with traditional justice agencies and offices. While these collaborations are mutually beneficial and socially transformative, inevitable tensions emerge when restorative and traditional models of justice engage one another within a community. In this paper, we will examine one example of this – the question of consistency and proportionality in our response to offenders and crime – and explore ways in which bilateral (restorative) and unilateral (traditional) methods of resolution can amend this apparent conflict and remain collaborative partners in effectively bringing justice to their communities and its members responsibly and safely.
Empowered Victims & Moral Perpetrators: A Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation
At a recent workshop at Leiden University on Obstacles and Catalysts for Peaceful Behavior, Nurit Shnabel presented exciting research distinguishing the needs of victims and perpetrators in interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. According to Shnabel and colleagues’ Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation, victims of conflict experience a psychological loss of status and honor, thus undermining their identities as powerful actors. Perpetrators, on the other hand, experience a psychological loss of social acceptance, thus threatening their identities as moral actors. Accordingly, victims and perpetrators are differentially motivated to restore these respective identities, and interactions that do so will increase their willingness to reconcile....
What if we gave victims of serious crimes the opportunity to face the offenders?
There has been much speculation about the factors that might lead someone to commit the kind of crime that was perpetrated against Mikey Partida. While some of it may be premature it is a normal human response to try to make sense of something that is so senseless.
….Lisa Rea, founder of Restorative Justice International, who has worked in restorative justice since 1992 believes that victims of crime do not want some vague sense of "closure" but rather they want to regain a sense of safety, security and healing. She argues in a 2012 article that for many victims the healing process would be facilitated by an opportunity to face the offender, ask him/her questions, describe the harm that was done, and seek a way for the harms done to them to be made right. She notes: "...(T)hroughout my work the number of victims who are seeking to participate in some kind of restorative justice dialogue is increasing."