Taking victims seriously? The role of victims rights movements in the emergence of restorative justice

Author(s)Richards, Kelly
Title Taking victims seriously? The role of victims rights movements in the emergence of restorative justice
Source Current Issues in Criminal Justice, November 2009, Vol 21, Issue 2, p302-320.
Date 2009
Document type Journal article
Coverage Australia
Summary The article explores the role of victims' advocates and the victims' movement, particularly in Australia, with the emergence of restorative justice practices. It is pointed out that most victim advocates are concerned with victims of serious crimes such as homicide, sexual assault and family violence but restorative justice deals primarily with juvenile or minor crimes. It is also suggested that there is not a lot of support for restorative justice being used for serious crimes. The author discusses some of the research on victims' participation in restorative justice programs and identifies a flaw in this research regarding assessments on victims' willingness to participate, as these are often conducted with victims who have already decided to participate. The article examines the rise of restorative justice as a means of reforming offenders rather than assisting victims. Further consideration is given to the range of measures that have been developed to assist victims such as compensation, counselling, support groups and a number of rights.
Keywords Restorative justice; criminal justice system; victims rights
Topic Restorative justice; victims rights