New Zealand Law Society - Restorative justice survey shows victim benefits

Restorative justice survey shows victim benefits

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Justice Minister Amy Adams has released the 2016 Restorative Justice Victim Satisfaction Survey, which fines that 84% of those surveyed were satisfied with the results of the restorative justice conference they participated in.

The survey was carried out by telephone interviews of victims or their representatives from 24 restorative justice providers between 6 May and 13 June 2016. There were 329 respondents with 88% having attended a conference.

The majority of respondent victims who attended the restorative justice conference said they felt well prepared and well informed. Most (93%) said they were given enough information about what would happen at the conference and either had all their questions answered or did not have any questions (87%).

When rating reasons for attending the conference, the victims placed the highest importance on wanting the offender to know what the impact of the offence had been on them (84%). Victims also felt it was important to express their feelings directly to the offender (84%) and hoped that it would bring closure (80%).

The majority (61%) of conference attendees said they were contacted by the facilitator after the conference and 88% thought the contact was useful. The survey report says people who received follow up contact from the facilitator were significantly more likely to report satisfaction with their conference and to recommend restorative justice to others.

"Overall satisfaction with restorative justice appeared to be mostly associated with what happened at the conference," the report says. "The factors found to best predict overall satisfaction were wanting to express feelings and speak directly to the offender; being listened to carefully; having concerns and questions treated seriously; and feeling the offender was sincere in their participation."

Gender (women were more satisfied overall then men) and age (victims aged 20 years or under were more satisfied overall than any other age group) were also predictive of overall satisfaction.

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