Victims Issues and Restorative Justice
1 Fundamental Concepts of Restorative Justice, National Institute of Justice, adopted from Dr. Howard Zehr and Harry Mika, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/courts/restorative-justice/fundamental-concepts.htm (last visited Jan. 25, 2011).
3 “A restorative justice process maximizes the input and participation of [victims, offenders, and the affected community] -- but especially primary victims as well as offenders -- in the search for restoration, healing, responsibility and prevention.” Id.
4 Leena Kurki, Incorporating Restorative and Community Justice Into American Sentencing and Corrections, Sentencing & Corrections: Issues for the 21st Century, Sep. 1999, at 1 (noting that “because crime harms the victim and the community, the primary goals [of restorative justice] should be to repair the harm and heal the victim and the community”).
5 See, e.g., Lawrence W. Sherman & Heather Strang, Restorative Justice: The Evidence (2007), available at http://www.smith-institute.org.uk/file/RestorativeJusticeTheEvidenceFullreport.pdf.
6 In a  15 State study, over two-thirds of released prisoners were rearrested within three years. See Bureau of Justice Statistics, Reentry Trends in the United States: Recidivism, http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/reentry/recidivism.cfm (last visited Jan. 25, 2011).
7 In response to their alienation from the criminal justice system, victims have sought greater input and participation into the criminal proceedings, as well as recognition of the harm they have suffered personally.See, e.g., Ellen Alexander & Janice Harris Lord, Impact Statements -- A Victim's Right to Speak... A Nation's Responsibility to Listen, National Center for Victims of Crime (1994), available at http://www.ncjrs.gov/ovc_archives/reports/impact/welcome.html
9 A major deterrent to reporting the crime is the victims' concerns about their treatment by the criminal justice system stemming from a belief that the system was 1) powerless to help them, and 2) might further victimize them. See Id.
10 Umbreit, et al. at 259 (citing Howard Zehr & Harry Mika, Fundamental Concepts of Restorative Justice, 1CONTEMP. JUST. REV. 47, 54-55 (1998)).
11 “RJ has been tried and tested, and it works. It is good for victims, offenders and communities. The evidence base for RJ is stronger than for that of almost any other criminal justice intervention.”Lucian J. Hudson, Restorative Justice: The Case for Wider Adoption (Dec. 2010)
12 Sherman & Strang, supra note 5, at 4.
13 Sherman & Strang, supra note 5, at 58-59, 68-71.
14 Mark S. Umbreit, et al., Restorative Justice in the Twenty-First Century: A Social Movement Full of Opportunities and Pitfalls, 89 Marquette L. Rev. 251, 259-63, 282-83 (2005).
15 (“The conventional criminal justice system focuses upon three questions: (1) What laws have been broken?; (2) Who did it?; and (3) What do they deserve? From a restorative justice perspective, an entirely different set of questions are asked: (1) Who has been hurt?; (2) What are their needs?; and (3) Whose obligations are these?”) Id.at 258.
16 See Id. at 269(discussing the types of restorative justice dialogue).
17 Robin J. Wilson, Franca Cortoni, and Monica Vermani, Circles of Support & Accountability: A National Replication of Outcome Findings (Correctional Service Canada, May 2007), available at: http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/rsrch/reports/r185/r185-eng.shtml.
18 See, Capital Restorative Justice Project, available at: http://www.capitalrestorativejustice.org/?q=node/14 (last visited Jan. 28, 2011).
19 Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982, Pub. Law No 97-291, 96 Stat. 1248.
20 Charles Doyle, Restitution in Federal Criminal Cases (Congressional Research Service Aug. 2007), available at: http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RL34138_20070817.pdf.
21 18 U.S.C. § 3663.
22 Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, Pub. Law 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214.
23 Doyle, supra note 18, at 11.
24 Legislative Proposals Before the 110th Congress to Amend Federal Restitution Laws: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary (Apr. 3, 2010) (statement of Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law, George Washington University), available at: http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/Turley080403.pdf.
25 Restitution for Victims of Crime Act of 2007, S.973, 110th Cong. (2007); Criminal Restitution Improvement Act of 2007, H.R. 845, 110th Cong. (2007).
26 Turley, supra note 22.
27 U.S. Dept. of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, About OVC, available at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/about/index.html (last visited Jan. 27, 2011).
28 The USA PATRIOT Act expanded the possible sources of Fund deposits by authorizing the deposit of private gifts, bequests, or donations into the Fund beginning in Fiscal Year 2002. Pub. L. No. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272 (2001).
29 U.S. Dept. of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, What Is the Office for Victims of Crime? available at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/publications/factshts/what_is_OVC2010/intro.html#go1 (last visited Jan. 27, 2011).
31 National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Victims of Crime Act 2009 Fact Sheet (2009), available at: http://www.naesv.org/Resources/VOCA_2009_Fact_Sheet.pdf.
33 National Network to End Domestic Violence, VOCA: Legislative Action, available at: http://www.nnedv.org/policy/issues/voca.html (last visited Jan 27, 2010).
34 Press release, Senate Comm. on Appropriations, Summary of Continuing Resolution through March 4, 2011 (December 19, 2010), available at: http://appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=4841b7f6-bbac-486b-959f-43b1979a60ff.
35 National Institute of Corrections, National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, available at: http://nicic.gov/PREACommission (last visited Jan. 27, 2010). See also Smart on Crime: Prisons chapter.
36 S.973 and H.R. 845(110th Cong.), supra note 23.
37 Doyle, supra note 18, at 35.
38 National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators, VOCA Funding: Current Status/Action News—FY 2011, http://www.navaa.org/budget/index.html (last visited Jan. 19, 2011).
39 See Asset Forefeitures. Smart on Crime (2011).
40 Victims of Crime Act Victim Assistance Grant Program Guidelines § IV(C)(1)(h), 62 Fed. Reg. 7256, available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-1997-02-18/pdf/97-3836.pdf.
41 Id. Guidelines § IV(E)(3)(b).
42 See Prison Reform, Smart on Crime (2011) for recommendations for Congress to provide sufficient appropriations for PREA. To the extent appropriations under PREA are insufficient to meet the demand for serving currently incarcerated victims, Congress should increase the VOCA cap to make available new funds for services to incarcerated persons who are victims of violent crime under the VOCA funding scheme.
43 Guidelines, supra note 38, § A(h), available at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/voca/vaguide.htm.
44 If necessary, Congress should also add any necessary language to authorizations to permit VOCA funds to be used for assisting victims in restorative justice practices used in place of conventional court proceedings and in corrections-based victim services in which offenders may also benefit.