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Restorative justice from the perspective of crime victims

Author(s)Garkawe, Sam
Title Restorative justice from the perspective of crime victims
Source Queensland University of Technology Law Journal, 1999, Vol 15, pp. 40-56
Date 1999
Document type Journal article
Coverage Australia
Summary This article discusses the origins of the trend towards restorative justice in Australia, suggesting that the main initiative came from criminologists and probation officials concerned with offenders, together with governments with an interest in reducing costs in the criminal justice system. The author discusses, from the victim's perspective, four commonly proposed benefits of restorative justice. These possible benefits are a greater likelihood of obtaining compensation, greater involvement in the justice system, greater informality and psychological benefits. Potential problems and doubts of effectiveness are discussed from the victim's perspective and it is suggested that there can be positive and negative results for victims participating. The article concludes with a detailed list of suggested policies and procedures that would improve the victim's experience. These include a need to have well planned and sensitively handled restorative justice sessions, professional support available for victims before, during and after sessions, and victims need to be well informed of their rights and what to expect. It is suggested that further research in all aspects of restorative justice is needed, including victims' reactions to restorative justice sessions.
Keywords Restorative justice; criminal justice; court process; offenders.
Topic Restorative justice