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Evaluating victims experiences in restorative justice

Author(s)Pemberton, Antony, Winkel, Frans-Willem, and Groenhuijsen, Marc S.
Title Evaluating victims experiences in restorative justice
Source British Journal of Community Justice, Sheffield, Summer 2008, Vol 6, Iss 2, p99, 21 pp.
Date 2008
Document type Journal article
Summary This article examines some of the issues and research regarding victims participation in restorative justice. Using the research of Strang (2002) as a foundation, the authors discuss the process-related needs of victims, such as a less formal process and outcome related needs, such as an apology. The article discusses one of the underlying problems with research in this field - the variety of victims and the variety of needs. The problems with comparing restorative justice with traditional criminal justice systems are also examined as experiences vary across different jurisdictions and for different types of crime. The complicated concept of participation is examined, including the question of whether increased participation leads to increased psychological stress. Outcomes, both material, such as compensation, and emotional restoration and its effect on victims developing PTSD are discussed. The relevance of anger, apology and forgiveness to victims and the application in restorative justice is considered. The offering of an apology is important but it needs to be qualified by the extent it is an actual apology rather than an excuse and also the victim's perception of its sincerity is important. Further research is recommended in the relationship between forgiveness and justice values, compensation or retribution and offence severity.
Keywords Restorative justice; conferences; victims needs; emotional restoration
Topic Restorative justice