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June 4, 2008

Victim input and restorative justice in sentencing Down Under

This new story from Australia, headlined "Victims to get say in sentencing," reports on an interest program being implemented in a country which has a long history with sentencing.  Here are the details:

New South Wales Attorney-General John Hatzistergos says the roll-out of a new program will give more victims of crime a say in how offenders are sentenced. Under the program, magistrates can order offenders to sit down with their victim, a facilitator and police to discuss the impact of their crime and come up with an intervention plan. The plan can include forcing the offender to apologise to their victim, pay compensation or perform community work.

Mr Hatzistergos says magistrates will consider the intervention plan when sentencing offenders. He says trials show the program is successful. "The evaluation that has been undertaken by the Bureau of Crime Statistics found high levels of support for the program amongst participants, particularly victims," he said.  "The majority of victims who took part in the program believed it was fair to them and almost all the offenders agreed it would encourage them to obey the law in the future."

I wonder if we could encourage some state-side AGs to draw some information and wisdom from this innovative sentencing scheme on the other side of the globe.

June 4, 2008 at 08:55 AM | Permalink

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Comments

For reference, there's an NGO in Australia called OARS that's been central to promoting restorative justice solutions in that country. On Grits last year I wrote up a talk I heard by their ED when he visited TX.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Jun 4, 2008 10:46:14 AM

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