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“Is Restitution Legislation the Chameleon of the Victims’ Movement?”

Shapiro, C.
June 4, 2015

Source: (1990) In: B. Galaway and J. Hudson (eds.), Criminal Justice, Restitution, and Reconciliation Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 73-80.

Restitution has been one of the foremost components of recent legislation designed to address crime victims’ concerns. However, a review finds that translating legislative intent into practice is problematic because of vague statutory language, difficulties in enforcement, and the competing values and resources of the criminal justice system. The philosophical underpinnings of restitution orders must be clarified, the impact of the legislation evaluated, explicit policies and procedures for using restitution developed, and the availability of restitution publicized. Unless restitution is treated as a primary sentencing condition, the victim will continue to be misled by the recent flurry of crime victim legislation.


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