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Article

Meetings between victims and offenders suffering from a mental disorder in forensic mental health facilities: a qualitative exploration of their subjective experiences

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue Online First 2022
Keywords Victim-offender meetings, restorative justice, forensic mental health, victimology, perception
Authors Mariëtte van Denderen and Michiel van der Wolf
AbstractAuthor's information

    Most studies about victim-offender meetings have been performed within prison populations, with little reference to offenders diagnosed with mental disorders. In establishing the effects of such meetings, these studies often use quantitative measures. Little is known about meetings between victims and offenders with mental disorders and about the more qualitative subjective experiences of the participants regarding these meetings. In this interview study, we inquired into the subjective experiences of sixteen participants in victim-offender meetings, six of whom are victims and ten offenders of severe crimes, currently residing in forensic mental health facilities. Topics of the interviews included benefits of the meeting and perceptions of each other prior to and after the meeting. Important benefits that participants experienced from meeting each other were reconnecting with family, processing the offence and contributing to each other’s well-being. Such benefits are comparable to those mentioned in studies on meetings with offenders without a mental disorder, challenging the practice that mentally disordered offenders are often excluded from such meetings. Most victims experienced a positive change in perception of the offender owing to the meeting. They perceived the offender as a human being and associated him less exclusively with his offence. Implications for clinical practice are addressed.


Mariëtte van Denderen
M.Y. van Denderen is criminologist and senior researcher at the Forensic Psychiatric Centre Dr. S. van Mesdag, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Michiel van der Wolf
M.J.F. van der Wolf is Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at Leiden University and Associate Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Corresponding author: M.Y. van Denderen at m.van.denderen@fpcvanmesdag.nl. Funding: This work was supported by an international, non-governmental, organization that prefers to stay anonymous (more information is available at request). Acknowledgements: We want to thank the victims, bereaved individuals and offenders who shared their experiences about the meeting. We would also like to thank the social workers of the FPC Dr. S. van Mesdag and FPC the Oostvaardersclinic, among which H. van Splunter, and Perspectief Herstelbemiddeling for their cooperation. We thank F. Fierstra, L. Gunnink, E. de Jong and F. Drijfhout for transcribing the interviews. Disclosure statement: No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
Conversations on restorative justice

A talk with Howard Zehr

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2022
Authors Brunilda Pali
Author's information

Brunilda Pali
Brunilda Pali is Senior Researcher, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium. Corresponding author: Brunilda Pali at brunilda.pali@kuleuven.be.

    Restorative justice has frequently been presented as a new criminal justice paradigm, and as something that is radically different from punishment. I will argue that this ‘oppositioning’ is problematic for two reasons: first, because some cases of restorative justice constitute de facto punishment from the perspectives of some positions on what punishment is; second, because restorative justice could reasonably be more widely adopted as a new form of de jure punishment, which could potentially increase the use of restorative justice for the benefit of victims, offenders and society at large. In connection with the latter, I want to present some preliminary thoughts on how restorative justice could be incorporated into future criminal justice systems as de jure punishment. Furthermore, I will suggest that by insisting that restorative justice is radically different from punishment, restorative justice advocates may - contrary to their intentions − play into the hands of those who want to preserve the status quo rather than developing future criminal justice systems in the direction of restorative justice.


Christian Gade
Christian Gade is an Associate Professor of Human Security and Anthropology at Aarhus University and a mediator in the Danish victim-offender mediation programme (Konfliktråd). Corresponding author: Christian Gade at gade@cas.au.dk. Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Pernille Reese, head of the Danish Victim-Offender Mediation Secretariat, for our many dialogues about restorative justice and punishment. Furthermore, I am grateful to Søren Rask Bjerre Christensen and Isabelle Sauer for their thoughtful comments on earlier drafts of this article. Last but not least, I would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback.

    Evaluations of restorative justice frequently report that only a minority of schools succeed in adopting a whole-school approach. More common are a consortium of practices necessitating the evaluation of schools not implementing the whole-school model but still achieving positive results. Previous research established that unconventional models have successful outcomes, yet little is known about the contextual factors and the causal mechanisms of different practices. This study finds that models of restorative justice facilitating student voice and consequently procedural justice have promising outcomes. Importantly, alternative models may be less resource-intensive, making them more feasible to fully implement.


Heather Norris
Heather Norris is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Aberystwyth University, Wales, UK. Corresponding author: Heather Norris at hnn1@aber.ac.uk.

Claudia Mazzucato
Claudia Mazzucato is Associate professor of Criminal Law at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy. She has known the Parents Circle-Families Forum since 2005 and is engaged with them in joint projects concerning restorative responses to political and collective violence and violent extremism. Corresponding author: Claudia Mazzucato at claudia.mazzucato@unicatt.it.

Stephan Parmentier
Stephan Parmentier is a Professor of Criminology and Human Rights at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of KU Leuven, Belgium and a Research Fellow at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Mina Rauschenbach
Mina Rauschenbach is a Research Associate at the Leuven Institute of Criminology. Both are General Editors for the Intersentia Series on Transitional Justice (https://intersentia.be/nl/product/series/show/id/9174). Corresponding author: Stephan Parmentier at stephan.parmentier@kuleuven.be. Acknowledgements: The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to the editors of this journal for the invitation to publish this ‘In Memoriam’, and to Hans-Juergen Kerner (University of Tuebingen) for his very useful comments and strong support.

Tim Chapman
Tim Chapman is an independent researcher and trainer and chair of the European Forum for Restorative Justice since 2016. Corresponding author: Tim Chapman at info@timchapman.eu.

Szandra Windt
Szandra Windt is a Senior Researcher and the Chief Counsellor at the National Institute of Criminology, Hungary. Corresponding author: Szandra Windt at windt@okri.hu.

Gerry Johnstone
Gerry Johnstone is a Professor of Law at the University of Hull, UK. Corresponding author: Gerry Johnstone at J.G.Johnstone@hull.ac.uk.

Thomas Levy
Thomas Levy is the Vice Principal of Culture at Coney Island Prep School, USA. Corresponding author: Thomas Levy ata levyt47@yahoo.com.

John Braithwaite
John Braithwaite is a Professor at the University of Maryland, USA and Emeritus Australian National University, Australia. Corresponding author: John.Braithwaite@anu.edu.au. Acknowledgements: Thanks to Eliza Kaczynska-Nay, Valerie Braithwaite, Estelle Zinsstag, Lode Walgrave, Albert Dzur, Ivo Aertsen, Fernanda Fonseca Rosenblatt, Gerry Johnstone, Claudia Mazzucato and Jane Bolitho for splendid suggestions on drafts.
Article

Diversion and restorative justice in the context of juvenile justice reforms in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue Online First 2022
Keywords children’s rights, juvenile justice, restorative justice, diversion, implementation challenges, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines
Authors Le Thu Dao, Le Huynh Tan Duy, Ukrit Sornprohm e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    Diversion is an important vehicle for delivering an alternative model of youth justice, one that is, hopefully, grounded in principles of children’s rights and restorative justice. Several Asia-Pacific countries, often with international assistance, have sought to develop alternative processes and programmes to which children in conflict with the law can be diverted to. In some instances, these have included restorative justice programmes. This article provides an overview of the implementation of a restorative justice approach, as a youth justice diversion measure, in four South-East Asian countries: Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. It describes juvenile justice reforms in these countries, particularly as they relate to the implementation of diversion and restorative justice and reflects on the factors that may have affected the success of these reforms. Every one of these countries has achieved a measure of success in implementing diversion and restorative justice, although restorative justice has occupied a different place in these reforms. The article offers a general overview of key challenges and notable successes encountered during that process, as well as an opportunity to consider the role of tradition, culture and public expectations in the implementation of restorative justice principles in the context of juvenile justice.


Le Thu Dao
Le Thu Dao, PhD, is professor at the Comparative Law Institute, Hanoi Law University, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Le Huynh Tan Duy
Le Huynh Tan Duy, LLB, LLM, PhD, is Head of Criminal Procedure Law Division of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Ukrit Sornprohm
Ukrit Sornprohm, LLB, LLM, LLD (Candidate), Project Manager (Rule of Law and Criminal Justice), Thailand Institute of Justice, Bangkok, Thailand.

Yvon Dandurand
Yvon Dandurand, Professor Emeritus, Criminology, University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Canada. Fellow, International Centre for Criminal Law Reform. Corresponding author: Yvon Dandurand, Yvon.Dandurand@ufv.ca.
Article

Towards a restorative justice approach to white-collar crime and supra-individual victimisation

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue Online First 2022
Keywords restorative justice, white-collar crimes, supra-individual victimisation, spokespersons at restorative meetings, eligibility criteria
Authors Daniela Gaddi and María José Rodríguez Puerta
AbstractAuthor's information

    This work examines the feasibility of extending the implementation of restorative justice to the field of white-collar crime for a specific class of victimisation: that which people experience as a group (i.e. supra-individual victimisation). For this purpose, we analyse some key issues and outline a number of criteria for determining who would be able to speak on behalf of supra-individual victims of white-collar crime in restorative meetings. Some initial proposals are offered, based on four types of supra-individual victimisation, which would provide a framework for the selection of spokespersons who could attend restorative meetings in restoratively oriented criminal proceedings.


Daniela Gaddi
Daniela Gaddi is an Adjunct Professor of Criminology and Criminal Law at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain and a community mediator.

María José Rodríguez Puerta
María José Rodríguez Puerta is Professor of Criminal Law at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain. Corresponding author: Daniela Gaddi, daniela.gaddi@uab.cat.
Article

Access_open Victim-Offender Contact in Forensic Mental Health

Resocialisation and Victim Acknowledgement During the Execution of the Dutch TBS Order

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2021
Keywords victim-offender contact, resocialisation, victim acknowledgement, forensic psychiatry, mentally disordered offenders
Authors Lydia Dalhuisen and Alice Kirsten Bosma
AbstractAuthor's information

    Crime victims have gained a stronger position in all phases of the criminal procedure, including the post-sentencing phase. It is in this phase specifically that victims’ needs and interests relating to acknowledgement interplay with the offenders’ needs and interests relating to resocialisation. In the Netherlands, offenders who suffer from a mental disorder at the time of the offence limiting their criminal accountability and pose a significant safety threat, can be given a TBS order. This means that they are placed in a forensic psychiatric hospital to prevent further crimes and receive treatment aimed at resocialisation. As resocialisation requires the offender to return to society, contact with the victim might be a necessary step. This article focuses on victim-offender contact during the execution of this TBS order, and looks at risks and opportunities of victim-offender contact in this context, given the particular offender population. Offenders are divided into three groups: those with primarily psychotic disorders, those suffering from personality disorders and those with comorbidity, especially substance abuse disorders. The TBS population is atypical compared to offenders without a mental disorder. Their disorders can heighten the risks of unsuccessful or even counterproductive victim-offender contact. Yet, carefully executed victim-offender contact which includes thorough preparation, managing expectations and choosing the right type of contact can contribute to both successful resocialisation as well as victim acknowledgement.


Lydia Dalhuisen
Lydia Dalhuisen, PhD, is Assistant Professor at the Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Alice Kirsten Bosma
Alice Kirsten Bosma is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of Tilburg University, the Netherlands.
Article

Restorative justice practice in forensic mental health settings: bridging the gap

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue Online First 2021
Keywords restorative justice in mental health, evidence-based practice, institutional settings, victims, ethics
Authors Gerard Drennan and Fin Swanepoel
AbstractAuthor's information

    The ‘clinic’ has developed sophisticated systems for responding to the challenge of serious mental health conditions. Mental health services combine hierarchical decision-making processes, with clear medical authority, with interventions that are required to be evidence-based to the highest standard. This is a system in which ethical, defensible practice is imperative to protect the public and to protect practitioners from legal liability in the event of adverse outcomes. Restorative justice interventions are powerful ‘medicine’. At their best, they change lives. However, the evidence base for formal restorative justice interventions when ‘administered’ to people with severe mental health difficulties is almost non-existent. It is into this relative vacuum of empirical support that initial steps are being taken to formalise access to restorative justice for mental health populations. This article will consider the challenges for applications of restorative justice in mental health settings and how the gap between the principle of equality of access and actual practice could be conceptualised and bridged. Recommendations include a rigorous commitment to meeting the needs of victims; a focus on the mental health patient’s capacity to consent rather than the capacity to benefit; practice-based evidence development and the inclusion of restorative justice awareness in all mental health practitioner training.


Gerard Drennan
Gerard Drennan is Head of Psychology & Psychotherapy at South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Fin Swanepoel
Fin Swanepoel is a Restorative Justice Practitioner at South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom. Corresponding author: Gerard Drennan at Gerard.Drennan@slam.nhs.uk. Acknowledgements: We wish to thank the reviewers of the first submission of this article for their helpful comments and suggestions as the article was significantly improved by their guidance. We also wish to thank our colleagues in forensic mental health services who are also working to introduce restorative justice practices in their settings. We have learnt so much from their vision and commitment. We have been sustained in our journey because we journey with them.
Annual lecture

Access_open Transforming restorative justice

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2021
Keywords relational theory, transformative justice, systemic injustice
Authors Jennifer J. Llewellyn
AbstractAuthor's information

    From the global pandemic to the Black Lives Matter, the Me Too/Times Up and Indigenous reconciliation and decolonisation movements, the systemic and structural failures of current social institutions around the world have all been brought to our collective consciousness in poignant, painful and urgent ways. The need for fundamental social and systemic transformation is clear. This challenge is central to the work of dealing with the past in countries undergoing transition and in established democracies confronting deep structural inequalities and injustices. Rooted in lessons from the application of restorative justice across these contexts, this article suggests that grounding restorative justice as a relational theory of justice is key to understanding and realising the potential of a restorative approach for transformation. It also explores the implications of this transformative imperative for the growth and development of restorative justice


Jennifer J. Llewellyn
Jennifer Llewellyn is Professor and Chair in Restorative Justice at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Director of the Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab. www.restorativelab.ca. Contact author: Jennifer.Llewellyn@Dal.Ca.

Meredith Rossner
Meredith Rossner is Professor of Criminology, Centre for Social Research and Methods, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Miranda Forsyth
Miranda Forsyth is Associate Professor in the School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Contact author: Meredith.rossner@anu.edu.au

Albert Dzur
Albert Dzur is Distinguished Research Professor, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, USA. Contact author: awdzur@bgsu.edu.

Geri Hubbe
Geri Hubbe (they/them) is a White queer restorative practitioner-scholar, multimodal artist, community organiser, qualified mental health professional and crisis-services advocate for survivors of domestic violence. Geri lives and works in Asheville, NC, located in Southern Appalachia on land stolen by the US government from the Cherokee Nation. Contact author: ghubbe@gmail.com.

Fernanda Fonseca Rosenblatt
Fernanda Fonseca Rosenblatt is Professor of Law at the Catholic University of Pernambuco (UNICAP), Brazil and Assistant Professor at the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), USA, and Book Review Editor of this journal.

Kennedy Anderson Domingos de Farias
Kennedy Anderson Domingos de Farias is an undergraduate law student at UNICAP, Brazil. Contact author: fernanda.rosenblatt@unicap.br.
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