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“Justice for victims of young offenders: The centrality of emotional harm and restoration. “

Strang, Heather
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Restorative justice for juveniles: Conferencing, mediation and circles, ed. Allison Morris and Gabrielle Maxwell, 183-193. With a foreword by DJ Carruthers. Oxford: Hart Publishing.

In addressing issues of justice for victims of young offenders, Strang starts by tracing the decline of the role of victims in Western criminal justice. Reversal of this situation began in the 1970s with the genesis of the victims’ rights movement. More recently has come greater attention to the emotional dimensions of the harm suffered by victims; there is evidence to suggest that emotional restoration is more important to victims than material or financial reparation. To examine issues of emotional harm and restoration with respect to victims, Strang refers to findings from the Reintegrative Shaming Experiments (RISE) in Canberra, Australia. Specifically, she examines victims’ experiences relating to fear of the offender, anger and sympathy toward their offender, anxiety, sense of security, sense of closure, and need for apology and forgiveness. She suggests that restorative alternatives offer better prospects than formal criminal justice processes for emotional restoration for victims.


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