An overwhelming majority of victims who participated in restorative justice conferences in 2015 were satisfied with the overall process, a study
recently released by Justice Minister Amy Adams revealed.
Restorative justice is a community-based response to crime. Conferences are informal facilitated meetings between victims, offenders, support people, and other approved participants, such as community leaders or interpreters.
Of the respondents who answered how satisfied they were with the restorative justice conference they just attended, 51% said they were very satisfied and 33% said they were fairly satisfied. With the overall restorative justice process, 51% said they were very satisfied and 30% said they were fairly satisfied.
Victims attended conferences mostly to express the impact of the offence (84%), to express their feelings directly to offenders (84%), and to reach closure (80%).
Men were more satisfied with the conference they just attended (49% very satisfied, 39% fairly satisfied) than women (53% very satisfied, 29% fairly satisfied). With the overall process, women were more satisfied (55% very satisfied, 30% fairly satisfied) than men (44% very satisfied, 30% fairly satisfied).
A large majority (81%) said they would likely recommend restorative justice to others in a similar situation, and almost two thirds (64%) said that the meeting made them feel better. Moreover, a majority (75%) were able to identify at least one way that restorative justice benefited them, whether it was having their say and telling how the offence affected them (25%), getting to hear the offender’s point of view and understand what happened (21%), or feeling that they could move on after getting closure (17%).
“Restorative justice is an important part of giving victims of crime more support and a stronger voice,” said Adams.
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