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Restorative Justice for Victims of Crime: A Victim-Oriented Approach to Restorative Justice

Wemmers, Jo-Anne
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) International Review of Victimology. 9(1): 43- 59.

Addressing the way in which restorative justice programs should be offered to victims, this paper discusses victims’ needs. After arguing that the restorative justice movement has been gaining support in recent years, the author explains that this study was based on research concerning victims’ points of view. Describing victims’ needs for information concerning their role in the criminal justice process, their needs for financial compensation, victims’ emotional needs following victimization, victims’ feelings of being left out of the criminal justice process, victims’ needs for protection, and victims’ practical needs such as having someone watch children while filing a police report, this article discusses the extent to which restorative justice meets these needs. After analyzing victims’ needs, the author finds that most restorative justice programs are inadequate in meeting most of the practical needs of crime victims, although some programs do have a positive attitude toward victim compensation. The author concludes that because restorative justice programs depend on the ability of the police to apprehend the offender, only a small umber of victims ever profit from restorative justice programs. Therefore, the author maintains, members of the criminal justice system need to find new avenues to address the needs of crime victims. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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