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Perceptions of justice in the criminal justice system: The experience of non-offending caregivers of child sexual abuse victims.

Maurice, Danielle M.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) Dissertation. Department of Psychology. Brandeis University.

The fundamental goal of this project is to understand how non-offending caregivers of child sexual abuse victims perceive “justice” following disclosure of the crime of sexual abuse. After reviewing the extant literature on the effects of the crime of child sexual abuse on parents and caregivers and what little is known about caregivers’ perceptions of justice in the criminal justice system, a survey was administered to non-offending caregivers of child sexual abuse victims with cases referred to the criminal justice system regarding their desires for interventions following the disclosure of abuse and their satisfaction with the actual interventions in their child’s case. Taking into account restorative justice theory, the issue of what interventions caregivers want to happen following disclosure of the abuse is addressed. Additionally, the issue of what factors caregivers consider when forming their perceptions of justice following their experience with the criminal justice system is explored in the context of social justice theory. Results suggest caregivers take into account both aspects of traditional criminal justice and restorative justice when forming their desires for and perceptions of justice. Caregivers appear to reject the face-to-face restorative justice procedures suggested in the literature. They do not appear to desire restoration of the offender to the community through probation or reparation of harm through restitution. They do, however, want offenders to receive treatment. (author’s abstract)


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