Source: (1996) Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology Conference, Annual Meeting, Chicago, November 20-23, 1996.
Over the past two decades, “rediscovering” victims has become a growth industry for contemporary Western criminology and criminal justice policy. Victim reform programs in recent decades in fact have delivered far less than promised. In most instances priority has been given to the symbolism rather than the substance of victim reform. In part, this is due to the reluctance by governments to commit resources to programs. This paper examines a victim reform program in Victoria, Australia, the Western Region Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program in light of these problems. It was found that the program suffered from a number of problems, primarily a low referral rate, a high number of victims declining to participate, lack of funding and weak organizational commitment.
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