Source: (2005) Queen's Law Journal. 9: 560-600.

Over the last decade or so, criminal justice systems in many Western nations have expanded community-based alternatives to incarceration. There are many factors behind this trend, with the advance of restorative justice initiatives being one factor. In general, both the state and the offender benefit from community-based sentencing. At the same time, Julian Roberts and Kent Roach caution, the interests of victims must not be overlooked in this sentencing trend. While community-based sanctions may enhance certain restorative goals, such as reparation to the victim, some victims and victims’ rights advocates have nevertheless expressed reservations and concerns about these sanctions. With all of this in mind, Roberts and Roach report on their study of the perceptions and experiences of victims with respect to community-based sentences which included a conditional sentence of imprisonment. They summarize developments in case law on victim interests with respect to conditional sentencing in Canada, review previous research on victim reactions to community-based sentencing, and present findings based on their empirical research into this matter.