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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74252 Find in a Library
Title: Victim-Offender Reconciliation Project (From Perspectives on Crime Victims, P 292-298, 1981, Burt Galaway and Joe Hudson, ed. - See NCJ-74246)
Author(s): D E McKnight
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: C V Mosby Co
St Louis, MO 63141
Sale Source: C V Mosby Co
11836 Westline Industrial Drive
St Louis, MO 63141
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper describes the operation of the Victim-Offender Restitution Project (VORP) in Ontario, Canada, and notes problems encountered.
Abstract: The project had four aims: to provide an alternative method for dealing with crime in the community, to bring the victim and offender together in an attempt to reach a reconciliation and to agree on the terms of restitution, to use a third party who could foster reconciliation between victim and offender, and to deal with crime as a conflict to be resolved. During the pilot project, VORP staff were involved with 61 offenders, and 128 victims. At the close of the project, 32 offenders had completed their restitution agreements and an additional 15 were making regular payments to their victims. The direct meetings between victims and offenders revealed offender's anxieties in meeting directly with their victims, the lack of hostile expressions made by victims to offenders, and the overall willingness of victims and offenders to directly involve themselves in structured meetings. However, some problems were apparent in the project. For instance, because all restitution projects depend on some assessment of loss or damage sustained in the criminal incident, there is always a possibility that victims might inflate the amount of damage or loss, whereas offenders might underestimate it. The possibility of further victimization then becomes apparent. Also, the amount of staff time required for planning and holding victim-offender meetings is a problem unique to projects emphasizing the direct involvement of parties to the dispute. Nonetheless, victims and offenders can, in most cases, reach reconciliation regarding restitution and may reap other important intangible benefits, although more testing and research work need to be encouraged. Four references are included.
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Ontario; Restitution programs; Victim-offender relationships
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