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Victim in Restorative Justice.

Dignan, James
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) In, Sandra Walklate, et. al, editors, Handbook of Victims and Victimology. Cullumpton and Portland: Willan Publishing. PP. 309-331.

The chapter begins with consideration of why the term “restorative justice” has proven so difficult to define. The author proposes a different way of approaching the task that avoids some of the problems that have been encountered. The chapter then examines the limited extent to which victim-related concerns have been featured within the three main intellectual traditions that have helped to shape the restorative justice movement in recent years: victim-offender mediation, conferencing, and healing or sentencing circles. What restorative justice might potentially offer to victims is then assessed in the context of those theoretical developments that are more relevant from a victim perspective. The next section of the chapter discusses the varying role and prominence that is accorded victims within each of the main types of restorative justice practice likely to be encountered in contemporary criminal justice settings. This is followed by an assessment of the progress that has been made in evaluating restorative justice initiatives from a victim perspective, before summarizing some of the main empirical findings. The role of the victim in British restorative justice policymaking is examined in the chapter’s final section, which also comments on some of the key problems of implementation that have impeded victims’ participation in restorative justice initiatives. (Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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