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What is the Relationship Between Victim Service Organizations and Restorative Justice?

Stutzman Amstutz, Lorraine
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In, Howard Zehr and Barb Toews, eds., Critical Issues in Restorative Justice. Monsey, New York and Cullompton, Devon, UK: Criminal Justice Press and Willan Publishing. Pp.85-93.

As Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz puts the matter, relationships between victim service organizations and restorative justice advocates and practitioners has been tenuous at best. To the extent there is dialogue, it is frequently characterized by an “us versus themâ€? approach. Victim groups often feel left out by restorative justice proponents who talk about victim, offender, and community needs but fail to involve victim groups in planning community initiatives. In this context, Amstutz reports on the results of a study project that addressed the deficiencies of restorative justice practice in relation to victim participation and providers of victim services. Involving victim and restorative justice advocates in structured dialogue among themselves and with victims, the study was conducted in 1999 and 2000 in seven states in the United States. Amstutz summarizes key findings concerning contrasting perceptions between victim services providers and restorative justice practitioners.


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