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The Psychology of Victims in Restorative Justice.

Pemberton, Antony
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) Papers presented at the Fourth Conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, “Restorative justice: An agenda for Europe”, Barcelona, Spain, 15-17 June 2006.

The two most prominent developments in criminal justice in the last twenty to thirty years are the rise of restorative justice and the recognition and improvement of the position of the victim. Because of this coincidence and evidence that participating in restorative justice procedures may be beneficial for victims, restorative justice advocates mostly assume that restorative justice procedures to be a victim-oriented improvement on criminal justice. However the intellectual foundations of restorative justice are in fact quite ambivalent about the position of the victim, being mostly focused on the offender and the community and there is a lack of theory and evaluative research concerning victims within restorative justice. The aim of this paper is to develop a theoretical model for victims within restorative justice which incorporates perspectives from social and personality psychology that are predominantly used outside of the criminal justice context. Keywords are anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and attributions of blame on the one hand and anger, rumination and forgiveness on the other. (authors’ abstract)


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