Legislature Must Empower Texas Crime Victims |TODAY|
Submitted by dan. on 2007-04-06 20:05.
However, victims cannot drink from a well that is dry, and inmates earn no money to pay restitution. The Legislature should promote the availability of victim-offender mediation as a voluntary alternative to traditional prosecution and incarceration in cases involving minor property offenses by first-time offenders.
Victim-offender mediation results in improved restitution collection, better offender outcomes, and reduced costs. There are more than 300 such programs in North America and their success is well documented. Some 95 percent of cases mediated result in a written agreement, and 90 percent of these restitution agreements are completed within one year, giving victims a sense of closure.
This indicates that coming face-to-face with a victim instills a moral obligation in many offenders. And because completion of the agreement avoids a conviction, offenders are more likely to hold a job that enables them to pay restitution. Victim-offender mediation has also been found to reduce recidivism by 32 percent.
Furthermore, mediations cost $250 per case, a fraction of the cost of court proceedings, let alone incarceration. The state could impose an offender fee paid by property offenders upon conviction or a participant fee for offenders who choose victim-offender mediation that would cover the upfront cost of grants to local district attorney's offices for such programs.
Restorative Justice Planned in Japan - NPA Hopes Victim-Juvenile Offender Dialogue Will Cut Recidivism Rates |TODAY|
Community Action (87)
Crime Prevention (38)
Law Enforcement (56)
Offender Support (76)
Public Education (132)
Restorative Systems (93)
Victim Support (130)