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“Which model of criminal justice offers the best scope for assisting victims of crime?”

Dignan, Jim
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) In Support for crime victims in a comparative perspective, ed. Ezzat Fattah and Tony Peters, 139-168. A collection of essays dedicated to the memory of Prof. Frederic McClintock. With a preface by Ezzat Fattah and Tony Peters. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

The authors present a typology of criminal justice models to categorize and characterize victim-oriented responses to crime. The five models they describe are these: retributive; welfare; civilian; victim/offender reparation; and communitarian. Through this typology, the authors try to clarify some of the complexity and even confusion surrounding the variety of approaches to restorative justice. They also aim to differentiate between victim-based measures with which restorative justice is associated and other victim-based measures which have either been incorporated into the traditional criminal justice process or which operate alongside that process. Through their analysis, the authors characterize the retributive and welfare models as involving traditional victim-based measures. The civilian, victim/offender reparation, and communitarian models involve restorative justice measures. In conclusion, the authors propose that a communitarian model of restorative justice avoids many criticisms directed at earlier alternative models and offers a powerful challenge to the predominant retributive model.


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