Criminal Justice 2008

What is restorative justice?

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Umbreit, M.S., Bradshaw, W. and Coates, R.B. (1999) “Victims of Severe Violence Meet the Offender: Restorative Justice Through Dialogue”

Uploaded at: 2010. 03. 01.


International Review of Victimology, 6, 321-343.

Both restorative justice in general and victim-offender mediation specifically continue to be identified with primarily, if not exclusive, addressing non-violent property crimes, and perhaps even minor assaults. This article will challenge such assumptions by providing empirical evidence that suggests that many of the principles of restorative justice can be applied in crimes of severe violence, including murder. Some would even suggest that the deepest healing impact of restorative justice is to be found in addressing and responding to such violent crime. This article describes four topics. First, the case development process of victim sensitive offender dialogue (VSOD) is described. Second, the specific type of victim sensitive mediation employed in such cases is presented. Third, a review of the few current studies of such an approach is offered. And finally, two specific case studies related to the above research are presented with an emphasis upon implications for practitioners.

Source: Vanspauwen, K., Robert, L., Aertsen, I., Parmentier, S. (2003), Restorative Justice and Restorative Detention. A selected and annotated bibliography. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, Onderzoeksgroep Penologie en Victimologie.

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