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NCJ Number: 199556 Find in a Library
Title: Justified Criticism, Misunderstanding, or Important Steps on the Road to Acceptance? (From Restorative Justice: Theoretical Foundations, P 50-70, 2002, Elmar G.M. Weitekamp, Hans-Jurgen Kerner, eds., -- See NCJ-199553)
Author(s): Martin Wright; Guy Masters
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Publisher: http://www.isbs.com 
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines two recent commentaries offering criticism of restorative justice.
Abstract: It is useful to see how restorative justice is perceived elsewhere so that it can attempt to answer criticism. The first commentary, from the United Kingdom, focuses on victims’ concerns. The second, American, comes from an offender-based, due process perspective. The authors of the first commentary raise a number of criticisms of some practices that are carried out in the name of restorative justice, and point to the safeguards required to guard against this. If victims are to be increasingly involved in the youth justice process, they will need enough time to consider their options or seek advice. In some cases, they may feel bulldozed into cooperating. Sufficient resources for victims need to be attracted to ensure that they are of high quality. There is a need for absolute clarity about the aims of any process that victims are invited to be a part of. Offering restorative justice could be experienced as an additional burden to the victim if unwanted contact with the offender is involved. Governmental support for assisting victims may become limited to funding restorative justice initiatives where an offender has been detected and distract services that provide general support to victims. Early victim/offender mediation projects have been criticized for not paying enough attention to the interests of the victims. The American author cites problematic issues with restorative justice, such as consistency. The notion of uniformity of reparations is contrary to the nature of the restorative system. No evidence is offered that mediation achieves deterrence, rehabilitation, increased social safety, and retribution. Victim/offender mediation places the victim in the role of sentencer. Mediators should observe both neutrality and confidentiality in disclosing the content of mediation to the judge. Mediation may not serve victims by pressuring them to forgive offenders before they are psychologically ready to do so. Mediators should be trained not to think that victims ought to forgive, let alone express such thoughts to the offender. Restorative justice needs to take note of due process and just deserts. 37 references
Main Term(s): Restitution; Victim prosecution of offender
Index Term(s): Intermediate sanctions; Juvenile restitution; Restitution programs; Sentencing factors; Sentencing/Sanctions; Victim compensation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=199556

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