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Restorative justice and burglary victims and perpetrators.

The conversation: Does restorative justice work? Yes!
from the interview by Oliver Laughland in The Guardian: The Ministry of Justice is considering increasing the use of restorative justice – in which offenders are encouraged to meet their victims – as part of its forthcoming green paper on criminal justice reform. Oliver Laughland brings together 34-year-old Reggie Aitchison, a prolific offender and drug user from Widnes, Cheshire, and 72-year-old grandmother, Kathleen, whose house he burgled, to discuss their experience of going through the restorative justice process and their reflections on the crime.
Ortiz, Jason and Henikman, Ross and Hargrove, Erik and Graves, Maria. Changes in Sentencing Policy: Sentencing Policy Changes in Response to Residential Burglary Offenders
With overtaxed correctional facilities, both in terms of budgets and space, and the prevalence of residential burglary in the United States alternatives to traditional sentences must be considered. Restorative justice practices can not only have a greater impact upon the offender, but also show promise in helping to alleviate some of the emotional injury that is suffered by residential burglary victims. (excerpt)
Editor. Newsletter June 2005
This short newsletter includes the words of a convicted burglar who agreed to meet with the victim of his crime and his reflection on the effects of the conference on both of them.
I commend you for apologyzing. Keep focused on your new goals and try to become a good example for kids like you. May God bless [...]
"I felt healed": Mum met burglar who stole precious memories of her dead daughter
from the article by Sally Beck in the Mirror: When Margaret Foxley found out her house had been burgled and a laptop, camera and jewellery had been taken by a drug addict, she wanted him locked up and the key thrown away for good. She had thought of her home as a sanctuary where she could live safely with her husband Paul, her son Oliver and daughter Jessica.
Young vandals ordered to put Somerset factory damage right
from the article in the Western Gazette: A gang of youths who broke into a Castle Cary factory have been ordered to make amends by washing site windows and picking up rubbish by a restorative justice panel. A three-month police campaign which tracked down 14 children involved with causing £1,000 of damage to the Torbay Road factory ended last month.
The burglar who paid back
From the Restorative Justice Week 2013 materials from UK Ministry of Justice: Jason Reed was sentenced to five years in prison after admitting to more than 50 unsolved burglaries. Shortly after, he expressed his wish to start afresh and make amends. He was asked if he would like to take part in Restorative Justice.
Restorative justice does work, says career burglar who has turned life around on Teesside
from the article by Lucy Richardson for the Darlington and Stockton Times: A hardened burglar who has turned his life around after meeting two of his traumatised victims is backing a new ‘restorative justice’ scheme. To Peter Woolf, stealing a laptop to pay for his heroin habit could be justified - the owner was rich and could easily afford to replace it. But when he was told that it had belonged to a heart and lung transplant surgeon and stored notes about critically ill patients as well as a research paper ready to be sent to the Lancet medical journal, the impact of his crimes suddenly hit home.
Restorative Justice Conference between R and Mr Q
from the case report by Mark Creitzman: It was at this point, that Mr Q mentioned that he felt that he would like to be able to forgive R by the end of the meeting and that he had a challenge for R to consider. Mr Q asked R if he was up to a challenge and he nodded ‘Yes’. Mr Q said that if R could prove that he wanted to change the path of his life and made progress in Cookham Wood, that on his exit from the YOI, Mr Q would mentor him and support him through his transition. Mr Q told us that his long-term plan could involve R and himself using the negativity of the offence and turning it in to a ‘power for good’ and delivering sessions to schools, YOIs, colleges or universities.
Murray, P and Launay, G. Victim/Offender Groups
This chapter reports on the Victims and Offenders In Conciliation (VOIC) project in the Medway towns, Kent. This program brings burglary victims together with young offenders convicted of burglary incarcerated in the Rochester Youth Custody Centre. The authors present the rationale for bringing victims and offenders together, and describe the main aspects of VOIC, including the referral system, the activities participants take part in, and their reactions to each other. Finally, the results of the evaluation is presented along with some of the problems encountered.
Umbreit, Mark S. "Crime Victims and Offenders in Mediation: An Emerging Area of Social Work Practice."
This paper describes victim offender mediation (VOM) and discusses the purpose using a case study of a household burglary. The mediation session helped the victim achieve closure and helped the offender to understand the consequences of their behavior and provided an opportunity to make amends. Finally, the author discusses the program implementation of VOM.
Umbreit, Mark S. Victim Understanding of Fairness: Burglary Victims in Victim-Offender Mediation.
This study reports on interviews with 50 burglary victims from Hennepin County, MN to gain an understanding of their perception of fairness. The concept of fairness took on a variety of meanings for the victims; the most prominent dimension was the importance of opportunities to participate in the criminal justice process. Additional findings are presented. Three types of victims were identified: the "healer," who stresses rehabilitation for the juvenile offender; the "fixer," who stresses compensation and the need to face consequences by repairing damage; and the "avenger," who stresses firm punishment often in an institutional setting.
Johnson, R. Police v Kapa (unreported) CRN 0090007932
This document presents the sentencing notes of Judge R. J. Johnson of the District Court of Waitakere in the matter of the Police v Caine John Kapa. The case involved offenses of aggravated burglary and aggravated assault. Subsequent to the arrest of Mr. Kapa and prior to sentencing in court, he entered a guilty plea and a restorative justice conference occurred. Participants in the conference included Mr. Kapa, the victims, a policeman, and other interested parties. In view of all the circumstances of the case, subsequent events, and the law, Judge Johnson imposed a prison sentence but suspended it.
Anonymous. Face to Face
This article tells a story of a burglary and the positive impact that a community-based restorative justice process had for the victim’s family. The mother of the family explained her feelings and forgave the young offender, who then apologized and began to work on repayment.
I am sorry for breaking into your house
From the Letters to the Editor of the Wausau Daily Herald: Editor's note: This letter was written as part of the Marathon County Restorative Justice Program, which connects juvenile and young adult offenders with crime victims. Victims work with the offender to resolve the issue and determine restitution. Though this letter is published here anonymously, the identities of both J and Mr. M. were verified by Carrie Vergin, executive director of the Restorative Justice Program.
Arnott, John and Nation, David. House Burglars and Victims
After local research had shown that house burglary attracted the highest rate of custodial sentences, Plymouth probation officers David Nation and John Arnott developed a group programme designed to offer a credible non-custodial option and to change offending behaviour through encounters with victims and prisoners, plus reparation and crime prevention tasks. They evaluate their first four completed programmes.
What happens at a restorative justice conference?
From the Why me? website: When victims and offenders sit down and meet at a Restorative Justice Conference,what is said remains confidential. When people talk about their experience of restorative justice (such as on this website), it’s because everyone involved in the meeting has agreed to going public.
Crime victims meet offenders in new restorative justice programme
from the article by Rachel Millard in The Argus: A mother said it “felt good” to look a burglar in the eye and explain the damage he caused her family. Tracey Clift sat down with the thief who took irreplaceable items including the medal her grandfather had won in the First World War and a charm bracelet from her father. She went to meet him in Lewes Prison, where the burglar is serving time for other crimes, almost five years after he broke into her Worthing home via the kitchen window and stole “most of our family history” from the safe.
Addressing the harm done in a crime
from the article by Bill Pesch in Guampdn-com: ...To this day, nearly 20 years later, recalling these events still makes my blood boil. I have no sense of finality or resolution. Most disturbing, I never learned why the kid chose me to vandalize and I've never received an apology. I feel like the system let me down. These emotions welled up again in me a few weeks ago when I was attending a class in restorative justice at the University of Guam. Dave Afaisen, a counselor at the Department of Youth Affairs, and his son, Sage, were guest speakers. They told us a story very similar to mine.
Power of One: Restorative justice couples victims with offenders
from the article on ....A woman named Marité has been taking part in the process, not by facing her sexually-abusive father, but rather, another man who committed similar acts. She said that results have helped her cope with the damage she suffered. "For him it was like I was his daughter," said Marité. "And I was able also to express my anger to him and that's what he wanted rather than silence from his daughter." "I can now go forward because I'm not bound to my father anymore. I can leave him go."

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