Source: (2000) IN, Andrzej Siemaszko, ed. Crime & Law Enforcement in Poland: On the Threshold of the 21st Century. Warszawa: Oficyna Naukowa. Pp. 144-149.

Focusing on restorative justice in Poland, this chapter details Poland’s goals for instituting and furthering restorative justice programs. Arguing that the primary aim of restorative justice is to repair the wrongs and the author argues that Poland’s new Penal Code of 1997 broadened the scope of victims’ procedural rights, addressing premises similar to those found in restorative justice programming. Describing some of the new institutions developed by the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, the chapter discusses offender-victim mediation and conciliation. Arguing that new penal codes oblige offenders to pay reparations to victims, the author suggests that offender’s efforts to offer redress to their victims are now one of the factors affecting the penalties handed down by Poland’s courts. Addressing the radical changes in the restriction of liberty attributed to the new Penal Code of 1997, the author maintains that the penalty of restricted liberty provides an alternative to a fine for offenders unable to make reparations to their victims or their victims’ families. According to the author, since the new Polish Penal Code of 1997 went into effect, 379 criminal cases have been directed to mediation, and penalties of restricted liberties were applied to 16,785 persons. The author concludes that international cooperation in the area of promoting restorative justice has been particularly successful in Poland over the last several years. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,