A Psychosocial Approach to Victims and Restorative Justice
To what extent is restorative justice able to ‘restore’ the harm suffered by victims of crimes of interpersonal violence? Restorative justice is an innovative, participatory and inclusive reaction to crime that permits victims and offenders to engage in a communication process about the consequences of the offence. It looks to the future, actively involving parties to find, agree and implement ways to repair the harm.
Restoring Harm analyses the restoration process from a psychosocial point of view and discusses the role of victim–offender mediation within such a process. It brings together literature from the fields of restorative justice, victimology and psychology, and shares original findings from victims who were interviewed in Belgium and Spain. This book not only offers descriptive findings but also provides a theoretical and comprehensive model that elucidates several possibilities for why victim–offender mediation may or may not play a role in victims’ processes of emotional restoration.
Well informed and well documented, this volume brings together evidence from different regions and develops a detailed discussion of the ‘effectiveness’ of restorative justice with regard to victims. Providing new and solid evidence thanks to a quasi-experimental methodological design, theory and practice come together to offer relevant reflections for researchers and practitioners who are concerned about the victim’s position within victim–offender mediation and desire to develop a victim-sensitive restorative justice practice.
Table of Contents
Prologue: From Satisfaction to Restoration: A Mixed-Method and Quasi-Experimental Study 1. Victims, Restoration, and Restorative Justice: Findings, Debates and Gaps 2. Victims’ Perspectives on Harm and Restoration 3. The Phenomenon of Victim Participation in Restorative Justice 4. Restoring Victims: The Role of Victim-Offender Mediation 5. Towards a Psycho-Social Model of Restorative Justice Epilogue: The Challenge of a Victim-Sensitive Restorative Justice Practice
Daniela Bolívar is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. She holds degrees in Psychology and Community Psychology from the same university. In 2012, she obtained a PhD in Criminological Sciences at the Leuven Institute of Criminology, KU Leuven. She has participated in a number of European research projects related to restorative justice and written several articles and book contributions on the topic. She co-edited the book Victims and Restorative Justice (Routledge, 2017) and is a board member of the International Journal of Restorative Justice published by Eleven, the Netherlands.