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Restorative justice aims to address the consequences of crime by encouraging victims and offenders to communicate and discuss the harm caused by the crime that has been committed. In the majority of cases, restorative justice is facilitated by direct and indirect dialogue between victims and offenders, but it also includes support networks and sometimes involves professionals such as police, lawyers, social workers or prosecutors and judges.
In theory, the victim is a core participant in restorative justice and the restoration of the harm is a first concern. In practice, questions arise as to whether the victim is actively involved in the process, what restoration may entail, whether there is a risk of secondary victimisation and whether the victim is truly at the heart of the restorative response, or whether the offender remains the focal point of attention.
Using a combination of victimological literature and empirical data from a European research project, this book considers the role and the position of the victim in restorative justice practices, focusing on legislative, organisational and institutional frameworks of victim-offender mediation and conferencing programmes at a national and local level, as well as the victims' personal needs and experiences. The findings are essential reading for academics and students engaged in the study of justice, victimology and law. The publication will also be valuable to policymakers and professionals such as social workers, lawyers and mediators.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781138065826
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Inge Vanfraechem is senior researcher at the Leuven Institute of Criminology (University of Leuven, Belgium) where she manages a European FP7 project on restorative justice and conflicts in intercultural settings. She has published extensively in the areas of restorative justice, victimology and youth delinquency, including Justice for Victims (co-edited with Pemberton and Ndahinda, Routledge 2014) and Conferencing and Restorative Justice (co-edited with Zinsstag, Oxford University Press 2012). She has (co)supervised multiple European research projects in these areas. Daniela Bolivar is a research fellow at the University of Chile. After several years working as a practitioner in the field of victim support, she moved to Belgium where, first as a researcher of the Leuven Institute of Criminology and then of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, she devoted several years to the study of restorative justice and its impact on victims of crime. She has written a number of articles on restorative justive from the victim's perspective. Ivo Aertsen is a professor of Criminology at KU Leuven, Belgium. His main fields of research and teaching are victimology and restorative justice. He is the Director of the KU Leuven Institute of Criminology, where he is also co-ordinating the Research Line on Restorative Justice. He is Editor-in-chief of Restorative Justice: An International Journal.
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