Victim Involvement and Restorative Justice

Victim Involvement and Restorative Justice
There has been a significant trend toward more victim involvement in the criminal justice system in recent years. Legislation has been passed to provide victims with certain rights, and there has been a movement to alter the U.S. Constitution with an amendment concerning victims’ rights. Victims have also participated in the process known as restorative justice, which focuses on the needs of both the offenders and the victims of a crime.

For this discussion, first read the following articles:
• Reassessing the Purpose of Punishment: The Roles of Mercy and Victim-involvement in Criminal Proceedings
• The “Independent Variable” in Restorative Justice: Theory-Based Standards for Evaluating the Impact and Integrity of Victim Sensitive Process (Part II)
• The Relationship Between Offense Seriousness, Intervening Time, and Victims’ Responses to the Offer of Restorative Interventions, and
• Restorative Justice

You may also find Forgiven helpful. In your initial post, discuss the following:

• Why is victim involvement important?
o Cite at least one example where it would be appropriate for a victim to be involved in a criminal trial and conviction process.
o Cite at least one possible negative consequence of allowing victims too much involvement in the criminal justice process.
• What are your own personal feelings regarding restorative justice theory? Do you believe the criminal justice system should foster a dialogue between offender and victim?
• What do you feel is the rationale behind the restorative justice theory and how it can resolve issues for victims?

Sample Solution