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Victims in justice: The effect of personal attributions on public perceptions of restoration, reparation and victim participation

Weinman, Cassidy (2014) Victims in justice: The effect of personal attributions on public perceptions of restoration, reparation and victim participation. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Research into public attitudes has continued to convey a crisis of confidence in the traditional retributive-style model of justice, with its effectiveness in dealing with the stakeholders of a crime continually being questioned. Victims are often described as the forgotten party of the criminal justice system; they are considered simply witnesses to an offence committed against the State. It is, therefore, not surprising that researchers have been inspired to search for alternatives to the traditional system. One alternative that has received considerable attention is restorative justice. The current study examined the level of public support for the principles of restorative justice, including the increased participation of victims in the justice system. Further, the study used punitiveness and belief in a just world to assess if personal attributions affect levels of support for restorative justice. The study paints a picture of a far less retributive public than is often portrayed, with respondents indicating high levels of support for strategies that promote reparation and restitution. The slightly punitive sample, whom held relatively high beliefs in a just world, embraced a more restorative orientation towards criminal justice, alluding to a shift in public attitudes. The study argues that greater victim involvement in the justice process is favoured by the public, as are empirically-based models of restorative justice.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Law
Supervisor: Field, Courtney
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/28835
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