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Victim Participation in Restorative Processes

Articles on the impact on victims of their participation in restorative justice meetings.

The Power of RJ dialogues in severe violence cases
As Lisa stated in her summary of the Round Table at the RJ conference in North Carolina, victims voices can be powerful advocates for the [...]
Is Healing the Right Word?
Congrats to all involved in this very meaningful conversation and opportunity, and thanks to Lisa for telling us all about it. As always, I love [...]
Russ Turner's story--victims choose to meet their offenders
I was pleased to see Russ Turner's post here. Again, victims of violent crime are seeking ways to have a dialogue with their offenders. It [...]
Meeting face to face
I echo the thoughts above. I met with the young man serving 17 Years to Life for the death of my oldest son Jeremy. Our [...]
Excellent summary
Thank you for the powerful summary of your experience working with these four victims. As you so elegantly put it, we need to shine a [...]
Excellent reminder of the power of victims' voices for RJ
Lisa - this is an EXCELLENT write-up about the power of victims' voices and a great reminder of the importance of providing forums for their [...]
Listening to crime victims: North Carolina restorative justice conference
by Lisa Rea When crime victims speak about the effect violent crime has had on their lives you have to listen. On June 9th I moderated a crime victims roundtable during the 3rd Annual Restorative Justice Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina coordinated this year by Campbell University Law School. The roundtable called "Listening to Crime Victims: Their Journeys Toward Healing" was sponsored by the Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing. The four victims of violence who told their stories were Bill Pelke, chair, Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing (Alaska), Stephen Watt, Stephen Watt Ministries (Wyoming) , Bess Klassen-Landis, musician and teacher (Vermont), and Kim Book, executive director, Victims Voices Heard (Delaware). No matter how many crime victims panels I have moderated the stories are always riveting and often what I hear the victims say is new even when I am familiar with the stories. I learn something new as the victims move along in their lives---their own personal journeys.
victims support restorative justice
Thank you for this post. It is always very encouraging to hear of what is going on around the globe as victims are experiencing the [...]
Victim Support chief addresses restorative justice conference
from the organization's website: Victim Support describes itself as "the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. We were set up 35 years ago and have grown to become the oldest and largest victims' organisation in the world. Every year, we contact over 1.5 million people after a crime to offer our help." Speaking at the Restorative Justice Approaches conference on Thursday 27 January, Javed [Khan] said: “We have for many years supported restorative justice projects up and down the country. We know that one of the greatest benefits of restorative justice is to victims of crime and that satisfaction rates among victims are particularly high when it is victim led.” Welcoming the government’s commitments to restorative justice he added: “I want to make sure that these are more than just warm words and that restorative justice becomes a right for every victim who wants it.”
Response by Dr Martin Wright to European Commission consultation document: Taking action on rights, support and protection of victims of crime and violence
From the response by Dr. Martin Wright: The key to this reply is in the last answer: that in principle restorative justice practices should be available to all victims, subject only to the safeguards mentioned in the reply to Question 17. Restorative processes are in the interests not only of victims, but also of offenders and the community. Victim-offender dialogue is valuable as an end in itself as well as a means to an end. For many victims, action to make the offender less likely to re-offend is at least as high on their list of priorities as monetary compensation or reparation through work. When the victim and offender agree on one of these methods of reparation, it is incumbent on the community to provide the resources to enable offenders to carry them out.
Restorative Justice Conferencing: The key for victims is in one question.
from Kris Miner's entry on Restorative Justice and Circles: One area of Restorative Justice Professionalism I focus on, is remembering ALL victims. Some victims do not get a victim-witness worker through the prosecutor’s office. The list of Victims Rights for Wisconsin is very court-room, criminal justice system process orientated. That’s good, victims need support and help navigating that. What I do is restorative justice, and in striving to do that well for all victims I have experienced a conferencing question that is KEY.
European Commission's Victims' Package: Consultation on taking action on rights, support and protection of victims of crime and violence
from the European Commission's Freedom, Security and Justice area: The Commission intends to adopt a package of measures, including a Directive on minimum standards for victims of crime, in the first half of 2011 in particular to replace the 2001 Framework Decision on the standing of victims. This consultation gives stakeholders the opportunity to present their views about which concrete actions could be developed at EU level that would bring real added value. It will also give the Commission an insight into concrete experiences of those working with victims of crime, particularly regarding the difficulties they encounter when assisting victims and the problems faced by those victims. The Commission is looking in particular for reliable data, factual information and specific real-life examples, regarding both problems and solutions.
Crime victims treated like the 'poor relation'
from Dominic Casciani's article on The first commissioner for victims of crime in England and Wales says the criminal justice system treats them as a poor relation and an afterthought. Too often victims found themselves a "sideshow" as police, prisons, lawyers and the courts focused on the offender, Louise Casey said. She said too much time was spent trying to help all crime victims, rather than focusing on those in genuine need.
Submission of Victims' Rights
A response prepared by the Restorative Justice Centre at AUT University in New Zealand to the Ministry of Justice's discussion document, "A Focus on Victims of Crime: A Review of Victims' Rights."
Restorative Justice Centre's submission to Ministry of Justice on victims' rights
The Restorative Justice Centre at AUT University in New Zealand has responded to a discussion draft titled "A Focus on Victims of Crime: A Review of Victims' Rights" on how the government might better address the needs of crime victims. Following are excerpts from RJC's response: 9. The central justice needs of victims are submitted to be accountability, vindication, empowerment, information, truth-telling and future safety. Only the first and last of these are addressed (to some degree) by the current legal process, and then only when the offender is convicted. Thus in crimes that go largely unreported, such as sexual offences, there can be no feeling of accountability in the absence of alternative processes, and victims remain unsafe. 10. The remaining four central justice needs are those which Dr Howard Zehr, known to and used by MoJ as a consultant in restorative justice, has said are “especially neglected”. They are next mentioned separately. However they overlap with needs identified by other writers.
Mennonite Justice
victims-centered restorative justice
Thank you for these resources, Dan. It is exciting to see so many victims speaking out and telling their stories. I am particularly eager to [...]
Treasures: Victims Voice, Safe Justice and Lemonade
by Dan Van Ness I just came across several treasures that will be extremely useful to people who have been, who love, or who work with crime victims. The first is the website of Victims' Voice, a Canadian NGO sponsored by the Mennonite Central Committee and whose purpose is "to address the revictimization of victims in the criminal justice system, to create understanding about victims among practitioners who work within the system and to give emotional and informational support directly to victims through victim-centered programs." The website has a number of resources that can be downloaded. And it contains links to two more sites, also sponsored by Victims' Voice.
Reparative Probation Boards
Hello, I am pleased to see that PFI included the new victim’s rights legislation news on this blog. As you may know, NH has the [...]
New Hampshire legislation
Dan, this is an excellent idea. I would like to see the legislation. Crime victims should have the right to participate in restorative justice processes. [...]

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