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Better Outcomes through Victim-Offender Conferencing (Restorative Justice)

February 25, 2013

2. It is important that the model and timing of RJ activity takes full account of victims’ desire and readiness to engage. There is, however, a need to balance the victim’s needs within the context and sequencing of the requirements of an offender’s sentence plan.

3. In order to improve victim satisfaction, RJ activity must be facilitated in a way that is sensitive to the dynamics of the relationship between the victim and offender. Effective communication should be promoted between the facilitator and victim at all stages. 

4. Facilitators must be trained to ensure the safety of all participants in the process. 

5. Victim-offender conferencing is likely to deliver the best outcomes when targeted to those who have committed violence or acquisitive offences, where there is a clear victim, and where the offender is medium or high likelihood of reoffending (OGRS225-74). 

6. Victim-offender conferencing (RJ) is distinct from activities or interventions where the offender is encouraged to think about the impact of their offending but does not meet the victim of their own offence (sometimes called Victim Awareness or Victim Empathy) for which there is little evidence to suggest this will reduce reoffending.

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