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Victim Assistance

A primary principle of restorative justice is that crime causes injuries and justice should repair those. Victim assistance is a way of both limiting and beginning to repair those injuries. These articles and resources concern efforts to offer support and assistance to crime victims.

Victims' Commissioner highlights financial costs for families in the aftermath of murder
from the blog entry on Justice: Families who have lost loved ones under terrible circumstances are facing costs of £37,000 on average as they struggle to pick up the pieces, according to figures released today.
Victim's daughter meets IRA bomber: An interview with Jo Berry
by Lisa Rea On October 12, 1984 an IRA bomb planted by Patrick Magee demolished Brighton’s Grand Hotel in Brighton killing 5 people including Sir Anthony Berry, MP for Southgate and a member of the Thatcher government. The bomb hit on the last day of the conservative party conference held at the hotel. The IRA bomber Magee was sentenced to 35 years in prison. He was released after 14 years under the negotiated Good Friday agreement. The following is an interview Lisa Rea conducted with Jo Berry, daughter of Sir Anthony Berry. She did this interview from her home in Macclesfield UK. Jo Berry chose to meet with Pat Magee in November 2000. Today the two work together on many initiatives including addressing peace conferences, giving workshops in prisons, and speaking at universities. Q. How did the meetings happen? What was the process? Were you, and Pat, adequately prepared to meet? Walk us through what happened.
Justice or Unfair and Unjust for the majority
This article highlights the many issues that we all face whilst the criminal justice does the same today as it did yesterday. The hurt that [...]
The hardest kind of justice
from Bendert Katier's article on United Academics: In countries throughout the world prisons are about to reach capacity, or more commonly, are completely overcrowded. Of those that do manage to get out of prison, in the case of the UK and the US for example, the rate of recidivism hovers around 50 and 60% every year since the mid-nineties. Meaning more than half of all former prisoners never get rehabilitated, never deal with issues of responsibility, trauma and emotion. Furthermore, legal systems are flooded with cases creating a bottleneck that causes even the smallest of cases to last far longer than they should. When you add to this situation the astronomical costs of the average criminal justice system, it is easy to see that increasingly, governments have reached a breaking point. On the other side of the coin are the victims. Between the judges and the lawyers the average victim has a limited role in the very trial that is supposed to provide them with some sense of resolution and justice.The trauma that comes with the pain and suffering can last a lifetime.
Think I lost something in translation at the end. Guess what I was trying to say is that I don't blame the judge but my [...]
Lacey interview: the needs of victims
I was not sure what I thought of this interview. I noticed that there was little mentioned about restorative justice, for instance. But more glaring [...]
I read with great interest your comments regarding how victim's are routinely ignored throughout the process. As a victim myself I can relate to the [...]
Interview with Professor Nicola Lacey
from the interview by Kim Workman of Rethinking Crime and Punishment: Professor Nicola Lacey is a Senior Research fellow and Professor of criminal theory at All Souls College, University of Oxford. She was in New Zealand recently to give the 2010 Shirley Smith Address on the subject of the Politics of Punishment. We took the opportunity to pick her brain. ....Rethinking: Someone said something to me the other day about how if we are going to put the requirements of victims in this process it should be their needs, rather than their wants. NL: Exactly. You need to have the debate about which needs can legitimately be met by the criminal justice process.
clergy abuse and restorative justice
Thank you for your comments, Katie. You are right that cases of molestation of children happen in many venues---sadly. I continue to work for restorative [...]
Abuse in L.A.
 I am a practicing Catholic, and those of us who remain so, have long ago wanted Roger Mahoney to be dismissed as our Bishop and [...]
Redeeming the Wounded: New book features new vision for victims’ justice
from the press release at In 2008 approximately 16,262 people were murdered in the U.S., leaving family and friends to grieve the loss. (Source: NCVRW Resource Guide) Many faith-based organizations want to help but do not know how. Due to budget cuts, funding for rehabilitation and educational, faith-based counseling programs for prisoners and crime victims has suffered in almost every locality. A new way to handle these problems is discussed in Redeeming the Wounded by Rev. Dr. B. Bruce Cook ( and under “crime victim resources”). Cook’s new vision of victim justice involves a concept of fair and equal treatment for crime victims and prisoners based on principles of restorative justice and restitution. ....Cook’s call to action includes:
Laura's Law: Remembering the victims of violence
by Lisa Rea Considering gun related violence and its impact on the victims, I remember the courageous work of Amanda and Nick Wilcox in Northern California in the name of their daughter, Laura. A recent press piece describes what they have done to fight violence since the shooting death of their daughter at the hands of Scott Thorpe on January 10, 2001.
No longer a victim!
Kathleen,      My heart bleeds for you! I cannot imagine the emotions that you are feeling right now. I was once of victim of Robert Power, [...]
Hi Kathleen, one of the things I can do is listen and I would like to listen to your journey that led to the decision [...]
Meeting with my son's murderer
I will soon be meeting with my son's murderer. I stand alone on this decision (my family doesn't understand that I am doing this to [...]
Robert Powers' case & his victims
As I read the comments by Robert's pen pal, Ines, as well as the comments by Ron Keine, I realize how complicated this case is. [...]
victims of Robert Powers
This is indeed sad that Robert Powers died before he could show his remorse to his victims and their families. As a long time anti [...]
Searching for Robert Power's victims
I am very grateful that RJ online has taken an interest in Robert Power's quest to reach out to his victims and that Lisa Rea [...]
Restorative Justice on Death Row: healing for crime victims?
by Lisa Rea A death row inmate in Florida recently died in prison before the state could execute him. I became aware of Robert's case because I met his pen pal, Ines, a woman from Switzerland who had be-friended him through a pen pal organization, Lifespark, based in that country. After being interviewed by Ines for her organization's newsletter on the subject of forgiveness and restorative justice I learned more about the man she wrote in a Florida prison who had served some 20 years on death row. The story came to an end on December 3rd, 2010 when Robert unexpectedly died of cancer. But what I learned from my encounter with Ines was the real need to open doors more fully for all victims of violent crime wherever their offenders live and wherever their victims live (if they are still alive). I learned through Ines that her pen pal, once a very violent offender, was ready to attempt to make things right, as much as possible, with the victims or victim's family members that he had injured. The rap sheet on this man was very violent and longer than I'd ever seen. I often learn things about restorative justice and how to apply it seemingly coincidentally. When cases draw me, or more likely the people behind the cases, I have a hard time saying no.

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