Source: (2003) National Catholic Reporter: The Independent Newsweekly. NCRonline.org. May 30. Downloaded 12 January 2005.

If longer prison sentences, mandatory sentencing and truth in sentencing are all part of being tough on crime and getting justice for victims, it stands to reason that 'alternative sentencing' programs like restorative justice are soft on crime and place victims’ rights above those of the victims they’ve offended. On the contrary, says Lou Furman, a specialist in restorative justice. The traditional, or 'retributive,' justice system, he says, revictimizes crime victims by taking away their voice and their wishes in framing redress to the crime. A lawyer may eventually ask questions of the victims, but their ability to speak is limited to answering the questions lawyers ask to prove or disprove a legal charge. At no point in the process, says Furman, does the retributive legal system ask the victim what he or she needs to restore the damage done. (extract)


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