Vic Week 10.docx

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General Education Studies
James Roffee

State responses to victims: restorative justice Origins & themes  Thinking critically (Christie): o Dissonance between its output and outcomes and the way it was treating victims.  We should treat them respectfully but we put them on the witness stand and ask them horrific questions. o Momentum for dissatisfaction with the CJS operating in Western liberal democracies and victims rights momentum. o Harm committed against individual and community has been repositioned as harm against the State i.e. State has come to own conflict.  The process of conflict and conflict resolution has been removed from the individuals who are part of it and out it in an abstract place i.e. the State. o How:  Professionalisation of criminal justice and responses to harm.  Overrepresentation of professions and the state.  Appropriation by the state of everyday problem. o Results:  Marginalisation of the parties most affected by crime.  State becomes the solution and we forget about the community, thinking that we have responded but really forgotten the greater impact.  Overemphasis of defendants’ rights, outweighing other considerations.  The offender becomes the focus.  Absence of emotion and place for apology/forgiveness.  When state gets involved they forget the need for apologies or understanding why it happened.  Loss of an opportunity for understanding the individual.  Their background info and why they did it.  CJS not set up for these factors to be prominent in its current responses.  Reclaiming conflict (Christie): o Need to reclaim victim’s voice in the initiation and practice of justice.  Need to forefront their needs and requirements – become the target and focus.  Outcomes should be based on this. o Looks to practices and cultures to identify times and places where victims play/played a more central role in the resolution of conflict. o Possible answer – restorative justice. What is restorative justice  Emphasises the repair of harm resulting from the crime, including harm to relationships.  Process where all parties with a stake in a specific offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future.  Umbrella term that is used widely and operationalised in diverse ways, but we can identify core values. o There is no way in which we act it out, but there are core values that all restorative justices paradigms and responses display.  Components: o Responds to different contexts with different applications with different aims and allowing for different outcomes, but shared principles:  Victim as actively involved – central player.  Importance of restoration – as close to they were before as possible.  Recognition of community.  Foundations: o Recognises that:  Crime has its origin in social conditions and relationships in the community.  Crime is situated and needs to be understood in light of the social conditions that created and caused it to happen in that time and place.  Crime prevention in dependent on communities taking some responsibility for remedying those social conditions that cause crime.  The aftermath of crime cannot be fully resolved for the parties themselves without their personal involvement.  Justice measures must be flexible enough to be able to respond to the particular exigencies, personal needs, and the potential for action in each case. Comparing retributive and restorative justice Retributive. Restorative. Crime defined as violation of the state. Crime defined as violation of one person by another. Focus on establishing blame. Focus on problem-solving, liabilities and obligations. Past oriented – did the offender do it? Is future oriented – what should be done to address the harm? Adversarial relationships and process Dialogue and negotiation normative. normative. Imposition of pain to punish and Restitution as a means of restoring both prevent/deter. parties (reconciliation/restoration as goal). Community on side-line, represented Community as facilitator in restorative abstractly by the state. process. Action directed from state to offender – Victim’s and offender’s roles recognised victim ignored and offender passive. in both problem and solution – victim rights/needs recognised, offender encouraged to take responsibility. Offender accountability defined as taking Defined as understanding impact of punishment. action and helping decide how to make things right. Offence defined in legal terms, devoid of Offence understood in mo
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