In or Out?: Some Critical Reflections Upon the Potential for Involving Victims of Youth Crime in Restorative Processes in England and Wales

Published 13/03/2002
Type Article
Author(s) Guy Masters
Corresponding Authors Guy Masters, Australian National University and Essex FGC Service

Expanding the use of restorative approaches within the youth justice system has become a key objective of recent government policy and reflects the international growth of restorative justice. Three recent evaluations of the use of restorative practice within the reformed English and Welsh youth justice system established very low levels of victim participation. The main focus of this article is to discuss the findings from these evaluations in relation to these low levels of victim involvement. These findings are then contrasted with international evidence, and the experience of two English restorative justice projects. It is argued that this evidence demonstrates that the recent low levels of victim involvement in England and Wales represent a failure in practice, to date, rather than a general reluctance on the part of victims to become involved in restorative processes.