Source: (2002) Relational Justice Bulletin. Issue 13: 1-3. Downloaded 14 May 2003.

Mel Lofty, head of Youth and Restorative Justice for the Thames Valley Police, makes a strong case for restorative justice, particularly for youthful offenders. He cites the large amounts of money spent annually on exercising youth justice, and the relatively small percentage of those sums spent on working with offenders and meeting the needs of victims. In many cases, the opportunity for victims and offenders to meet and discuss the crime offers both parties a chance to view one another as more than just the players in the crime, and allows both parties to heal more quickly. Restorative justice does not and should not supplant the existing criminal justice system, but rather, serve as a bridge to greater understanding. Both victims and offenders, even in cases of violent crime, are often bound together by the enormity of the act and can sometimes find closure by discussing their shared experiences. Lofty also briefly mentions the idea of 'sentencing circles,' wherein all those involved in the sentencing are given the opportunity to present their views.


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