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Incorporating Feminist Theory and Insights Into a Restorative Justice Response to Sex Offenses.

Koss, Mary
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Violence Against Women. 11(5):693-723.

Sex offenses, particularly nonpenetration sex offenses and acquaintance sexual assault are all too common. Because these offenses reinforce women’s fear of crime and restrict spatial and social freedom, it is of significant importance for the justice system to act affirmatively. However, it does not. Even when criminal justice sanctions are applied, they are only modestly effective. Restorative justice suggests an alternative approach that would increase the number of cases in which offenders are held accountable, as well as hold the promise of promoting rather than interfering with victim recovery, promoting community involvement in crime control, and providing for safe offender reintegration into the community. This restorative justice approach to sex offending is described in depth. The pilot research demonstration project RESTORE is described. RESTORE employs a victim-driven, postarrest but preconviction community conference response to certain sex offenses. It addresses date and acquaintance rape where force did not exceed that necessary to compel unwanted sex, and nonpenetration sex offenses. The restorative justice demonstration project offers the opportunity to assess whether restorative justice is a safe and effective method of dealing with individual cases of violence against women. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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