Using criminal punishment to serve both victim and social needs

Author(s)O'Hara, Erin and Robbins, Maria
Title Using criminal punishment to serve both victim and social needs
Source Law and Contemporary Problems Vol 72, Spring 2009. Pp 199-217
Date 2009
Document type Journal article
Summary The authors discuss victim-offender mediation (VOM), including the advantages and disadvantages for victims and offenders. It was estimated that by 2000 more than 1200 programs were operating worldwide and is an important component of the restorative justice movement. When VOM is successful victims and offenders achieve understanding and closure and offenders offer victims some form of reparation, such as an apology or compensation. The authors propose a radical expansion of VOM to allow the victim input into the length of the victim's sentence, if they wish. The proposal is that when an offender is convicted and sentenced to serve time in prison, ten to twenty per cent of the jail term should be handed over to the victim to impose or forgive. Under this proposal the victim would gain empowerment through a more active role in the process and encourage offenders to reconcile with their victims.
Keywords Victims rights; victim offender mediation; criminal justice system; sentencing
Topic Victims rights