Back to RJ Archive

Building social support for restorative justice through the media: is taking the victim perspective the most appropriate strategy?

De Mesmaecker, Vicky
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) Contemporary Justice Review. 13(3):239-267.

Despite the encouraging results of public opinion assessments on restorative justice, people are not likely to spontaneously suggest restorative measures after a crime. Restorative justice thus seems in need of a public relations strategy. This paper discusses the strategy labeling victims as the universal remedy to promote restorative justice, and the proposal of promoting restorative justice through the media by foregrounding crime victims in media reports on crime. This strategy stems from a belief that the most appealing aspect of restorative justice to the public is its thoughtfulness to victims. However, I will argue that there are three problems with this approach. These concern: (1) the victim’s position in both restorative justice theory and practice; (2) the characteristics of media reporting on crime in general and victims in particular; and (3) the risk of attaining a result opposite to the initial objective (i.e. increasing punitive attitudes instead of promoting restorative justice). (author’s abstract)


AbstractCourtsPolicePolicyPoliticsRJ OfficeStatutes and LegislationTeachers and Students
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now