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Restorative Justice Has Re Centre The Criminal Justice System Around The Victim Criminology Essay

1240 words - 5 pages

Critically evaluate: Restorative justice has re-centred the criminal justice system around the victim
The dictionary definition of the criminal justice system (CJS) states, the CJS is the system of law enforcement that is directly involved in apprehending, prosecuting, defending, sentencing and punishing those who are suspected or convicted of criminal offences (English Oxford Dictionaries, 2018). Before 1964 the CJS in the United Kingdom (UK) was very much offender centred, and concerned with retributive justice, one of the first moves towards a more victim centred approach to the CJS was the introduction of the Criminal Compensation Scheme (CCS). This scheme aimed to compensate victims of crime for their harm and financial losses that may have been incurred because of an offence that has taken place against them. In 1972 community service orders were established, leading to the first victim support scheme in 1974 (Liebmann, 2007). In 2001 the CJS introduced Restorative Justice (RJ) in the UK, this approach became widely used in youth offences (Crown Prosecution Service, 2018). RJ general philosophy is based on a set of values and principles, that seek to restore the harm that has been incurred because of an offence. RJ is concerned with helping victims heal, restoring offenders back into society, and repairing the harm done to relationships within the community (site). The theory behind RJ is to involve the victim in the CJ system, giving the victim a voice. In 2013 a new Code of Practice for Victims of crime came into force in the UK giving all victims the right to information concerning taking part in RJ schemes. During this time the Crime and Courts Act (2013) introduced RJ for victims of adult offenders, this gave the courts the power to defer sentencing allowing for RJ to take place, providing the requirements are met by all parties (Hoyle, 2016). This essay will evaluate the implementation of RJ in the CJS focusing on the UK justice system, concerning whether or not RJ has re-centred the CJS around the victim, evaluating evidence from sources
RJ is a term used to describe a set of values and principles, these values and principles are used to repair the harm caused because of an offense. The Restorative Justice Council (RJC) sets out RJ six core values to which all RJ processes must follow these are as follows, restoration (address and restore the harm), voluntarism (must be voluntary based and based on informed choice), neutrality (fair and unbiased towards participants), safety (process and practice aim to ensure the safety of all participants creating a safe place to explore feelings), accessibility (non - discriminatory and available to all those affected by harm) and finally, respect (processes must be respectful to the dignity of all participants) (Restorative Justice Council, 2015). The processes in which these set of principles are applied come in the form of, direct victim – offender contact, victim – offender mediation or...

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