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Parole and Victims

Articles and resources on parole officers' role with victims of crime.

Standing Committee
from Wilma Derksen's entry on Bittersweet: I am meeting with the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights this morning. This is what I will be saying. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am pleased to have this opportunity to address you and the rest of the committee regarding Bill C-10, The Safe Streets & Community Act. ....My daughter, Candace, was 13 years old when she was abducted and found murdered six weeks later. We lived without knowing the details of what happened for two decades.
American Correctional Association. National Victim Services Survey of Adult and Juvenile Corrections and Parole Agencies: Final Report.
Representatives of State adult and juvenile corrections agencies and parole boards responded to this survey, which sought examine current trends in victim services which they sponsored, including notification services, victim/offender programs such as restitution and mediation, and services for correctional personnel who are victimized while carrying out their responsibilities. The results showed a substantial increase in corrections and parole-based notification programs for victims and witnesses, compared to results obtained from the previous survey conducted five years earlier. There are 16 different types of releases about which correctional agencies notify victims and witnesses. Several agencies also notify victims who have been threatened of an offender's change in status. The procedures for victim notification vary widely according to State and agency. Most corrections agencies have been authorized by the courts in their States to order restitution for offenders sentenced to prison terms. The report notes improvements made with regard to the victim's rights in the parole process. Many correctional agencies have implemented programs to help employees who have been victimized, as well as their families. Victim/offender programs noted in this survey include mediation, conciliation, victim impact panels, confrontation, and "impact of crime on victims" programs. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.
Hurley, Martha Henderson. Restorative practices in institutional settings and at release: victim wrap around programs.
While earlier efforts to increase victim involvement emphasized changes within early stages of the criminal justice system, recent efforts have emphasized the need for greater involvement of victims within institutional settings and during the reentry process. The most recent avenue of exploration for policy changes within institutional environments that include victims’ perspectives has been the desire to implement restorative justice practices within institutional settings for adult offenders (see information available from The Pennsylvania Prison Society at http://www. prisonsociety.org/progs/rj.shtml). In addition to the push for implementation of restorative practices behind prison walls, several state correctional systems have incorporated victim wrap around services within the parole process. The next section discusses the literature and reviews some of the programs that have been developed as part of restorative justice practices behind prison walls and victim wrap around services incorporated into the reentry process for inmates. (excerpt)
Parliament of New Zealand . Parole Act 2002.
Section 7: Guiding Principles When making decisions about, or in any way relating to, the release of an offender, one of the principles that must guide the Parole Board's decisions is that the rights of the victim are upheld, and victims' submissions and any restorative justice outcomes are given due weight (section 7(2)(d)). Section 35: Direction for detention on home detention The outcome of any restorative justice processes that may have occurred is one of the factors to be considered by the Parole Board when considering an application for home detention (section 35(2)(b)(v)). Section 36: Detention conditions With the approval of a probation officer, an offender on home detention may leave the residence in which he or she is detained to (section 36(3)(c)): attend a restorative justice conference or other process relating to the offender's offending, or carry out any undertaking arising from any restorative justice process. (excerpt)
American Probation and Parole Association. "Incorporating Victim Services."
This special issue focuses on current theories, concepts, and programs in victim services with special emphasis on their relation to probation and parole. Papers emphasize the necessity of understanding the dynamics of victimization and the need to shift from a retribution to a restorative justice approach to supervision. Other papers describe first large cross-site evaluation of victim-offender mediation programs in the United States,. discuss examples of restorative justice programs, consider the victimization of probation and parole officers, and describe efforts of probation and parole agencies across the Nation to serve crime victims.

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