Crime Victims’ Experiences of Restorative Justice: A Listening Project
Feedback and conclusion
An optional online survey was released within a week of each session’s conclusion to obtain feedback regarding the listening sessions themselves. Fifteen of the 36 participants completed the survey. Survey results indicated very high levels of satisfaction with the group composition, the style of facilitation, the opportunity to have a voice and the session’s construction overall. Most respondents reiterated their appreciation for the session itself, and many mentioned that a hoped outcome would be that restorative justice would be more widely known about and utilized. As for suggestions for improvement for the Listening Project, several respondents indicated that they would have appreciated even more time, and an opportunity for even more victims to take part. Overall, the survey results were consistent with the input given at the sessions and suggested an ongoing positive experience of and relation to the Listening Project’s purpose.
The experience of those participating in the Listening Project shines a spotlight on the immense potential for restorative justice to meaningfully meet the needs of victims of crime. The themes explored here indicate that in order to best meet those needs, improvements could focus on making processes more adaptable, optimizing choices and information, prioritizing flexible supports and follow-up, and (for the broader system) considering how to create sustainable funding structures to support programs making these improvements. That victim needs will be met, therefore, is not a foregone conclusion—restorative justice programs and the systems that support them have a formidable opportunity to implement the insights offered throughout this report in order to improve services experienced by victims of crime.
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