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Promising victim related practices in probation and parole.

Godwin, Tracy M
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) Washington, DC: Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime.

Probation and parole agencies are in a unique position to provide services to victims.
First, probation and parole agencies have access to both general and offender-specific
information that could address victims’ need for information and concerns. A victim would
profit from understanding how probation and parole works; knowing an offender’s custody
status, and understanding that offenders will be held accountable for their actions either
through payment of restitution or other supervisory conditions. The payment of restitution
is therapeutic; it holds offenders accountable for the harm they caused and assists in helping
the victim reconstruct his/her life through monetary compensation. Second, victim–offender
mediation programs may be a helpful therapeutic agent in individual cases. Involvement
in mediation programs may help both the victim and the offender realize things about each
other that can change their perspectives and assumptions (i.e., the offender’s perception that
no harm was caused, and the victims’ misconception of “offenders as demons”). Probation
and parole agencies can provide the information that would lead victims and offenders to
participate in restorative justice practices. These actions validate the trauma victims have
suffered and contribute greatly to the healing process.(excerpt)


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