Source: (2003) Te Ara Whakatika: newsletter of the court-referred restorative justice project. November/December(19). Ministry of Justice, New Zealand. Downloaded 9 February 2004. Pp. 4.

A probation officer in Hamilton, New Zealand, Elisabeth Cianci-Balloch describes the court-referred restorative justice process as providing the courts a good indicator of whether an offender is truly remorseful or not. Offenders often do not empathize well with victims of crime. Yet empathy can be critical to an offenderxe2x80x99s rehabilitation, says Cianci-Balloch. The court-referred process involves participation in a restorative justice conference with victims. While not all offenders are suitable for a restorative justice process, those who are and who participate in a conference can benefit significantly from the encounter with victims. Such offenders are more likely to learn to emphasize with victims and less likely to re-offend.


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