Source: (1999) Paper presented at the Restoration for Victims of Crime Conference. Australian Institute of Criminology and Victims Referral and Assistance Service. Melbourne

Thompson notes that criminal justice systems increasingly recognize the rights of victims in offender management. A significant example is the use of victims’ statements about the impact of crime on their lives. In the same sphere, a growing practice is the process of mediation between victim and offender. Rarely, though, is there a structured program designed to teach offenders about the effects of their behavior on their victims. This is surprising since victim-offender mediation has its own shortcomings and delivery complications. Against this background, Thompson examines the Victim Awareness Programme of the South Australian Department for Correctional Services. After a sketch of restorative justice ideas and their implementation (particularly with respect to the Australian experience), he discusses the purpose, rationale, historical context, and design of the victim awareness program. He also provides information about early results of the program, as well as its limitations.

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