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White Collar Crime

Restorative justice and white collar crime victims and perpetrators.

Umbreit, Mark S and Coates, Robert B and Vos, Betty. The Impact of Victim-Offender Mediation: Two Decades of Research.
Innovation and reform in criminal justice often suggest more than they deliver. Sometimes an innovation is new more in name than in underlying program values and content, and sometimes a reform is embraced with enthusiasm but without scrutiny. As one of the oldest and most widely used expressions of restorative justice around the world, victim-offender mediation (VOM) has exhibited both of these traits at times and in places. Nevertheless, VOM is, the authors assert, one of the most empirically grounded of emerging justice interventions. Against this background, the authors offer an overview of thirty eight empirical studies designed to assess the growth, implementation, and impact of VOM programs. Umbreit, Coates, and Vos summarize and comment upon the research results with particular attention to client satisfaction, fairness, restitution, diversion, recidivism, cost, and VOM and violent crimes.
Joseph, Wanda. Restorative Justice: A Report from El Salvador.
With the support of a mini-grant from the Victim Offender Mediation Association, I traveled to Salvador with the SHARE Foundation for eight days at th ened of March 2005. The focus of the Share delegation was the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. SHARE Fondation has worked in El Salvador since 1981, accompanying and supporting the people as they fled the death squads and providing spiritual, physical and financial support as they rebuilt their lives and communities after the war. They continue the work to help communities find means to reclaim basic human rights, fundamental civil liberties, and degraded environments. (excerpts)
Forget, Marc. Restorative justice in prisons: An evolution from Victim Offender Mediation in 1998, to a restorative prison wing in 2001, to a holistic, multi-sector project in 2004.
The three projects that are highlighted in this presentation were selected because they represent a very broad spectrum of restorative approaches applied to the prison environment. Each of these 3 projects is in a different phase of implementation. The first project is the oldest (1998), and provides a lot of evaluative data; the second project has been operating for 4 years and is currently undergoing its fist evaluation; the third project is the newest, and not all aspects of its programs have been implemented yet. (excerpt)
Wootton, Lindy and Liebmann, Marian. Restorative justice in Bristol prison.
This workshop briefly outlines the work of the HMP Bristol Restorative Justice Project, with particular focus on the issues raised by work in prisons. The HMP Bristol Restorative Justice Project (RJP) was a year-long pilot project that ran from April 2003 until March 2004. At the time HMP Bristol was a Category A (the most secure rating) local prison for men. The RJP employed one member of staff, and its remit was to: • Introduce the principles of restorative justice to the prison, in collaboration with community agencies. • To deliver an ‘enhanced’ victim contact service. • To design and implement victim impact group work programmes and individual work with prisoners. (excerpt)
Newell, Tim. Restorative Justice in the prison setting.
Applying the principles of Restorative Justice in a custodial setting call for sensitivity and courage. There are several ways in which it has been applied from restorative programmes - such as conferences and victim offender mediation or therapeutic communities - to partly restorative work such as community work projects and resettlement work. The restorative focus is on those most directly affected by a crime, and RJ’s problem-solving and future-oriented methods make it an ideal complement to the work of prisons, addressing some typical dilemmas of each theory of criminal justice, which are listed in this article. Newell defines the main limitations of prisons that impede their capacity for restorative work and also lists some of the obvious areas for restorative approaches in prisons. The potential for restorative justice in prisons is considerable. It should not be seen primarily as a tool towards reducing recidivism, but as a means towards empowering offenders to take responsibility for their actions and to make amends to their victims and their communities. Guided by RJ, prisons can become true places of healing and transformation for the community as well as those directly affected by crime – victims and offenders.
Fisher, Richard and Heffernan, Felicity and Verry, John. Restorative Justice Approaches in the Context of Environmental Prosecution.
Punishment of environmental "crimes" differs from other prosecuted offenses, because the harm done is often irreparable, and because there is often no victim, in the ordinary sense of criminal justice. Consequently, statutory enforcement mechanisms must be flexible, proactive, and arguably more preventive than punitive. Relatively new "green" sentencing options in Australia, for example, include restoration or enhancement of the environment in public places, as well as other creative punishments, including environmental audits of company activities, publication of the offense, and a requirement for notification in company annual reports. In this study, we examine the applicability of a restorative justice approach to environmental offenses under New Zealand's Resource Management Act 1991. The benefits of “restorative justiceâ€? and “diversionâ€? schemes are discussed, as these have been applied by one New Zealand district council. It suggests that a restorative justice approach may offer useful, additional discretion to local authorities when prioritising the resource-intense effort required to successfully prosecute environmental offenses as the means for re-dressing the damage to the environment. (Author's Abstract).
Gustafson, Dave. Exploring Treatment and Trauma Recovery Implications of Facilitating Victim Offender Encounters in Crimes of Severe Violence: Lessons from the Canadian Experience.
This chapter first describes research undertaken in 1989 with victims/survivors and inmates that led to the development of the program. A case study that involves an adult male survivor of child sexual abuse illustrates the process and the healing outcomes for this survivor, for the members of his family, and for the offender. Some of the issues raised by the case are explored, notably the nature of trauma and how guided communication between victims, offenders, and other involved parties can assist recovery. The presentation of the case study is followed by a review of the history of the program. There is growing evidence of the therapeutic impact of victim-offender mediation upon the participants. Victims often report that the mediation experience has helped in their recovery from trauma, including a diminishing of severe symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participating offenders have also described the mediation process as healing. Therapists and prison program facilitators have reported observing significant increases in victim empathy and a commitment to relapse prevention in offenders who have participated. Other jurisdictions are implementing similar programs with technical assistance from FRCJIA staff. The first 15 years of the program have continued to show the value of mediation in helping to heal the harms caused by violent offenses. Well-conceived victim-offender dialog models, especially when informed by trauma recovery and offender treatment research, are apparently effective in bringing positive outcomes even for cases of violent crimes. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Toews, Barb. A Body in Motion.
A Body in Motion is a play that was prisoner requested in the State Correctional Institution at Graterford, one of Pennsylvania’s largest prisons. Prisoners familiar with Howard Zehr’s book, Transcending: Reflections of Crime Victims, asked the Pennsylvania Prison Society and its Restorative Justice Program to bring the play to their prison. This expanded to a tour of eight state prisons and seven community-based sites in April and May 2004. Through project goals, partnership and process, and audience care, the tour offered a new application of these restorative elements. This article focuses primarily on the prison aspects of the play tour.
McElrea, F W M. The Role of Restorative Justice in RMA Prosecutions.
I was a great surprise but a very great privilege to be this lecture to the RMLA Auckland branch members earlier this year. The topic is certainly one of real interest to me, and I hope it will prove of value to you. With the agreement of Principal Environment Court Judge Bollard I have been encouraging the use of restorative justice processes in a few RMA cases. Two have been completed and others are in the pipeline either here or in the Waikato. There is the potential for a greatly increased use of this approach.(excerpt)
International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy. Workshop 2: Enhancing Criminal Justice Reform, Including Restorative Justice.
This background paper for a workshop on enhancing criminal justice reform (workshop at the 11th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, April 18-25, 2005, in Bangkok) discusses priorities for criminal justice reform and opportunities for the effective enhancement of criminal justice, followed by recommendations for consideration by workshop participants. An introductory section considers pressures on criminal justice systems to adapt to new conditions, including serious forms of transnational crime that require international cooperation; demands for access to justice; and the growing influence of restorative justice principles on criminal justice institutions. The paper's second section outlines priorities for criminal justice reform. These include the criminal justice system's interaction with diverse populations, such as women, children, the elderly, ethnic and cultural minorities, and people with disabilities; the protection of population groups vulnerable to criminal victimization; sentencing and correctional alternatives to imprisonment; and the incorporation of international standards and resources in priorities and designs for reform. The third section of the paper identifies and discusses opportunities for the effective enhancement of criminal justice. Among the eight areas of opportunity addressed are integrated and comprehensive reforms, regional and international coordination in reform efforts, the involvement of community and nongovernmental institutions in criminal justice reforms, and the monitoring and evaluation of criminal justice practices. Thirteen recommendations are offered as guidance for criminal justice reforms. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Delattre, Gerd. Dialogue with the Public - A Neglected Element of Restorative Justice?
The results of the empirical research on success and acceptance of restorative justice are better than expected, but they are not taken into account and are not implemented adequately by the legal practitioners. Due to the internal perspective and the fact that referrals are dependent on legal practitioners, the full potential concerning application and efficiency of restorative justice cannot be tapped satisfactorily. The dialogue with the public is a neglected element in the development of restorative justice and has to be intensified. Those affected by crimes should be informed very early about the possibility of out-of-court conflict settlements and reparation. It is important to take increased efforts to establish agreeable offers of conflict settlements which are at the same time top-quality and within close range. Apart from informing the general public via various media, the extension of a network with new cooperation partners (schools, police, district offices, quarter mangers, church communities, priest, doctors, crisis line, victim support, crime prevention organisations) is of vital importance. (excerpt)
Ouellette, Melissa. Who Owns Restorative Justice? Exploratory Interviews with Restorative Justice Practitioners
Restorative justice challenges the notion that the effects of crime can only be resolved by professionals, and represents a shift in power away from state control to community control of justice issues. As a different way of doing justice vying for a place in relation to the mainstream justice system, tensions exist between theory and practice. Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with people who occupy various roles in the field of restorative justice in the Lower Mainland explored how different actors see the tensions being addressed, exacerbated and/or resolved. The sources of tension included questions regarding (1) what is classified as restorative justice and if standards should be adopted; (2) who gets to provide restorative services; (3) which service providers get to take which types of cases and at what stage in the justice process, and (4) the lack of adequate, stable sources of funding for restorative justice programs. Author's abstract.
Bender, Valerie R. Victim/Community Awarness: An Orientation for Juveniles
The curriculum is designed for a group with a maximum of 15 offenders, and the 3 sessions of the curriculum encompass 3 to 4 hours. The first session is an introductory session that involves welcoming participants and group introduction, the administering of a pretest, the presentation of a group contract for behavior within the group, and an overview of balanced and restorative justice. The second session focuses on the impact of crime. In this session, group participants engage in role-playing as a crime victim or someone in the community who must deal with the aftermath of a crime described by the group facilitator. Each group member is assigned a role to play that involves thought about the kinds of feelings the character might have. The third session builds upon the second session by having each group member describe in detail the offense he/she committed, followed by a description of how his/her offense affected the victim and community. Group members may ask questions and provide feedback regarding the impact of each member's offense. Part of this session is having group members compose an apology letter to their victims and to the community. Materials for each session are provided, along with guidance for the facilitator. A section on information and resources includes a victim/community awareness completion report, a victim impact statement, guidelines for assessing offender accountability, suggested readings, and descriptions of victim-awareness video clips. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Szmania, Susan Jennifer. Victim Offender Mediation Media Coverage Has Both Potential and Pitfalls
Restorative justice initiatives such victim offender mediation (VOM) programs are currently enjoying increased national media attention. In the past year, several magazines and television and radio talk shows have devoted space to restorative justice programs. The journalist Jan Goodwin, for example, has published articles on victim offender mediation in the April 2004 issue of O Magazine and in the May 2004 issue of Marie Claire magazine. On television, coverage has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in November 2004 and on The Larry King Show in January 2005. Online discussions have also been held, such as one on Oprah’s discussion board ( For advocates of restorative justice, this national media attention is exciting. It not only raises public awareness about restorative justice, but it also opens doors for sources of much-needed funding for new and existing programs. However, this increased media attention requires more scrutiny of how VOM is presented because of the misconceptions that may be inadvertently promoted through the media spotlight. To illustrate the potentials and pitfalls of media involvement in VOM, this article looks at three recent VOM television and online presentations. These sources include The Oprah Winfrey Show entitled. “Coming Face to Face with Your Attackerâ€? from October 25, 2004 on the topic of restorative justice, the Oprah After the Show program that subsequently aired the question and answer session following the main program on a cable television channel, and the discussion board in response to the television show. (excerpt)
Cyr, Katie and Wemmers, Jo-Anne. Victims' Perspectives on Restorative Justice: How Much Involvement are Victims Looking For?
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, the crime victim is relegated to the role of witness to a crime against the state. Due to concerns over the possible threat to the rights of the accused, victim vindictiveness and sentencing severity, victim participation in the criminal justice system has been met with resistance. In relation to restorative justice, while victims are clearly considered to be parties with a stake in the offense, victim satisfaction is not always a goal of restorative justice. This leads to the possibility of restorative justice programs being insensitive to the needs of crime victims, thereby placing an additional burden on the victim. This paper presents data from a study of 56 victims of crime who participated in a victim-offender mediation program in Montreal, Canada and presents an understanding of the role that victims prefer to play in the criminal justice process. The data suggest that the majority of victims are well aware of the risk of introducing arbitrariness into sentencing if victims are granted decisionmaking power. Most victims are clear that while they want input, they are content to leave decision control in the hands of authorities. Victims seem to want recognition. They want to have a voice in the criminal justice process. Victims want a voice that will be heard, but where they won’t bear the burden of decisionmaking power. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Zemlyanska, Vira and Koval, Roman. Introducing Restorative Justice in the Ukrainian Justice System
The Ukrainian Centre for Common Ground is a non-governmental organization working to build capacity for constructive conflict resolution. Since 2003, it has been engaged in an initiative to introduce restorative justice into the Ukrainian justice system. The project includes training mediators in victim offender mediation and policy makers in restorative justice. Roman Koval and Vira Zemlyanska provide this update on the project's progress.
Umbreit, Mark S and Bazemore, Gordon. A Comparison of Four Restorative Conferencing Models by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
"This chapter focuses on four restorative conferencing models: victim-offender mediation, community reparative boards, family group conferencing, and circle sentencing. Although these four models by no means exhaust the possibilities for community involvement in decisions about how to respond to youth crime, the models do illustrate both the diversity and common themes apparent in what appears to be a new philosophy of citizen participation in sanctioning processes." (excerpt)
Pearson, Annette. Can Colombian Community Justice Houses Help the new Criminal Justice System Achieve Restorative Results?
Restorative Justice is not a familiar term amongst the public or in legal circles. Key characteristics of restorative justice values, actors, procedures and settings are not known or understood by formal justice system operators. The 1991 Colombian Constitution created community conciliators and popularly elected judges who do play a role in the justice system. These community justice figures are not acquainted with the restorative justice conccepts as such but they often do have an approach to conflict resolution which resembles restorative justice practices. Rather surprisingly, proponents of restorative justice innovations from within the university context were successful in their bid to have restorative justice references included in the new criminal procedure code passed in July, 2004. This legislation which will come into force on the 1st of January 2005 has an entire section entitled restorative justice. In a wide range of crimes which require citizen initiative to bring them into the criminal justice system, obligatory conciliation proceedings between the victim and the suspected offender before a criminal investigation will be commenced. The reform of the criminal justice system does assume that preliminary conciliation encounters between the victim and the suspected offender can produce restorative justice type agreements. Given the provisions foreseen for the operation of the obligatory conciliation proceedings, it is not likely that restorative justice ends will be well served. Some of these conciliation encounters will be undertaken in community justice houses. The community justice house model located in 32 cities, principally in poor peripheral urban suburbs, included both formal criminal justice system operators, as well as community mediators, conciliators and judges. Abstract courtesy of the Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University,
Szmania, Susan Jennifer. Beginning difficult conversations: An analysis of opening statements in Victim Offender Mediation/Dialogue
In this dissertation, I provide a discourse analysis of mediators, victims, and offenders’ opening statements in the Victim Offender Mediation/Dialogue (VOMD) program in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. VOMD is available to willing victims of violent crime who would like to meet with their convicted offenders with the aid of a mediator. Previous research indicates that participants are satisfied with the process and outcome of this newly emerging type of mediation, but little research has addressed the communication in these difficult conversations. A general practical question motivates this discourse-centered analysis: how do participants begin the Mediation/Dialogue sessions? Drawing from grounded practical theory, the analysis addresses two levels. First, at the technical level, I use action-implicative discourse analysis to transcribe participants’ opening statements in five cases. Second, at the problem level, I investigate the tensions that are inherent in initial moments of the dialogue, both at an institutional level and at an interpersonal level. The technical level finds that the participants in five cases display prosocial communicative practices in their opening statements. Mediators employ both procedural and orientational features that orient the participants to the ideology and process of the mediation session. Victims acknowledge the offender, equalize their position with the offender, discuss their spirituality, and may also express forgiveness to the offender in their opening statements. Offenders begin by talking about the difficulty of engaging in the mediation session, discussing their identity in relation to their crime, offering an apology, and responding to the victims’ forgiveness when forgiveness is granted. Author's abstract.
McNeice, Julie A. Bridging Restorative Justice and Crime Prevention through Social Development
My Master of Arts Leadership and Training degree major project report investigates the opportunity to improve linkages between restorative justice and crime prevention through social development by defining them and exploring their inter-relationships. Study results will help bridge the information gap between the two social development approaches. This may lead to the real possibility of permanent positive change to improve social cohesion within my community of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (NT) in Canada. Sponsorship of this study is provided by the Northern Director of the National Crime Prevention Centre of Canada in hopes of enabling a seamless, integrated approach to crime prevention through social development, restorative justice initiatives, and aboriginal justice strategies that arise from native self-governance. The research component of this study involves numerous individual interviews (8) and two focus group sessions. Author's abstract.

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