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Discussing and analyzing Restorative Justice: Victims' rights and the future

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  1. Introduction
  2. Definition of organization development
  3. The growth and relevance of organization development
  4. Managerial innovation of organization development
  5. Managing the organization development process
  6. Diagnosis, action and program management
  7. Six box model
  8. Defining the client-relationship system
  9. Action research and the organization development process
  10. Themes of organization development process
  11. Conclusion

Restorative justice has become mainstream following the establishment of youth offender panels last year under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. It is no longer just another possible option available in some places at various points in the criminal justice process. However, there is no consensus over a definition. Tony Marshall defines restorative justice as 'a process whereby parties with a stake in a specific offense collectively resolve how to deal with the aftermath of the offense and its implications for the future'. More recent Home Office research comments on the 'variability and changeability' of approaches in seven different schemes; the aims of practitioners vary and there is widespread uncertainty as to what the term means, both in theory and practice. There has been considerable enthusiasm about exploring the possibilities of victim/offender contact - which may result in young people seeing the consequences of their actions, accepting responsibility for them, and being given assistance to reintegrate into society.

[...] Conclusion International experience teaches us that the dissemination of information and good practice is crucial for the purposes of monitoring and standards within restorative justice. Although the Youth Justice Board has started to play a role in this respect, preliminary inquiries reveal a striking lack of knowledge about what is happening countrywide. There seems to be little interaction between theory and practice. there is a current suggestion to start an Institute of mediation that would provide a dialogue between theory and practice, as well as play a role in monitoring and the on going discussion of standards. [...]

[...] If nothing else, the community - in the broadest sense - has a general interest in fairness and consistency of approach. Because outcomes depend on agreements reached between offender and victim, they vary according to circumstances, including whether victims are particularly lenient or particularly demanding. As we have seen, because of pressure to agree to restorative initiatives , one offender may end up being treated very differently from another who has committed a similar offense but has a more (or less) demanding victim. [...]

[...] The obstacles that have been identified include time pressures on the organization of panel hearings (and thus little time for victims to think or be prepared); lack of training and awareness of victim issues on the part of those doing restorative justice work; a lack of commitment on the part of those responsible for victim contact; and low public awareness about youth offender panels and referral orders. Panels are convened in the area where the young person rather than the victim lives, which may cause the victim problems with traveling and with the timing of panel meetings. [...]

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