Restoring Victims and Communities
What do the following news stories have in common? The Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme responsible for the biggest corporate securities fraud in history, the Austrian rape and murder case of Josef Fritzi whose daughter was enslaved for 24 years, and the Irish Republican Army shooting two British soldiers and injuring four others in March 2009, breaking the peace outside Belfast?
The answer is that we will probably never know what steps have been taken to provide a form of reparation to the victims or their families, in ways that allow them to live their lives in peace. Victims-driven restorative justice is happening all around the globe. It is challenging the traditional criminal justice system by providing a new vision for systemic justice reform. The crime victims and those who recognize their unmet needs are the ones who are increasingly leading the effort to make this transition. However, despite thorough evidence and numerous restorative justice evaluations, the victims’ appeals for restoration are rarely heard.
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