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Victim Services and Restorative Justice: Addressing a Critic’s Concerns

Immarigeon, Russ
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Crime Victims Report 8(1): 5-6, 15.

Russ Immarigeon has argued that restorative justice – instead of empowering victims and offenders to address positively the conflict between them – is at risk of becoming simply a vehicle for affirming victims and providing victim services. This argument is based on his perspective that victim services and restorative justice practices are both useful and necessary, but that they are different services. In this article, Immarigeon responds to a critique of his argument from a victim assistance advocate. That critic characterized restorative justice as oriented around offenders and as useful for only certain offenses (property crimes in particular). The critic also remarked that offenders get more attention from the criminal justice system than victims get. Immarigeon disputes these objections through discussion of the following topics: the politics of victim services; the question of restorative justice being offender-centered; victim satisfaction; shaming; and the potential of victim services and restorative justice.


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