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Will Restorative Justice Live up to Its Promise to Victims?

Achilles, Mary
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. 65-73.

Several years ago Mary Achilles collaborated with Howard Zehr on an article on the promises and challenges of restorative justice with respect to victims. They raised concerns about what they perceived as the offender-centered nature of many restorative justice programs and practitioners. As she writes in this chapter, Achilles still believes those concerns to be legitimate, yet she is also now inclined to take a more expanded view about the possibility that restorative justice can live up to its promise to victims. Specifically, she sees the promise of restorative justice to be the elevation of victims to the position of stakeholders in a justice process that begins immediately from the point of the harm caused by wrongdoing. With that in mind, she sketches how restorative justice can be the basis for changing the way we respond to victims to their benefit.


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