Report on Victim and Offender Attitudes towards Restorative Justice |TODAY|
Submitted by dan. on 2007-06-20 20:49.
Overall, 85 per cent of victims and 80 per cent of offenders were very or quite satisfied with the JRC conference itself, with all the randomised trials showing at least three-quarters of victims very or quite satisfied. This is a key outcome measure in the evaluation. The outcome agreement was also seen as satisfactory – only 12 per cent of victims and 10 per cent of offenders expressed any doubts about it and almost all thought it was fair. Any dissatisfaction tended to be related to dissatisfaction with other aspects of the conference.
This is the third report on the evaluation of three restorative justice schemes funded by the Home Office under its Crime Reduction Programme from mid-2001: CONNECT, the Justice Research Consortium (JRC) and REMEDI. The three schemes were designed to focus on adult offenders, some of whom were convicted of very serious offences.
The definition of restorative justice adopted was: “Restorative justice is a process whereby parties with a stake in a specific offence collectively resolve how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future” (Marshall 1999). The experiences and views of participants, particularly victims and offenders, were hence a key element of the evaluation. Interviews (or, occasionally, the opportunity to complete a questionnaire) were offered to all victims and offenders who participated in restorative justice.
CONNECT provided indirect mediation (sometimes called shuttle mediation, where information is passed by the mediator between victim and offender), direct mediation (a meeting between victim and offender with one or more mediators present) and conferencing (a meeting with victim and offender supporters present as well). Interviews were conducted with four CONNECT offenders and 11 victims.
JRC offered only conferencing, using an experimental model in which cases were randomised to a conference or control group after victim and offender consent had been obtained. Views were obtained from offenders and victims just after the conference or, for the control group, randomisation, and also from participants in the early stages of the scheme’s operation just prior to participation. Both conference group participants (152 offenders and 216 victims) and control group participants (118 offenders and 166 victims) were also interviewed some eight to nine months after the conference.
REMEDI offered indirect mediation and direct mediation, with views being obtained from 24 offenders and 32 victims.
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Community Action (87)
Crime Prevention (38)
Law Enforcement (56)
Offender Support (76)
Public Education (132)
Restorative Systems (93)
Victim Support (130)