Victims of Crime and Community Justice
Release Date:01 Jul 2005
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Victims of Crime and Community Justice

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Can a victim's experience really be improved purely by diminishing the rights of offenders and increasing penalties for offending?

Writing at a time when the UK is beginning to accept that an offender-led criminal justice system cannot provide direct benefits to the victim of crime, Dr Brian Williams lays bare the assumptions about victims and offenders that currently restrict efficient policy-making. He evaluates proposed solutions, including restorative justice and informal community justice, and draws on evidence and experiences from the UK and around the world to investigate which measures have proved effective and how criminal justice policies might be redressed.

This book provides a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the topic for students of criminology and victimology, and is essential reading for practitioners in social work and probation officers.

RELATED TOPICS: Criminology, Social Work
(Although it is an English book) it addresses the issues from an international perspective. It places community and restorative justice programs in a political context, which is fundamental to understanding their operation and implementation. It is also one of very few books available on this topic, despite the popularity of community and restoration programs. I would strongly recommend the book to anyone who is interested in victim services and community responses to crime. – Australian Social Work
Victims of Crime and Community Justice is a timely contribution to an increasingly political debate about the position of victims in the criminal justice system. Williams explores the development of the role of victims of crime with reference to community justice and restorative justice initiatives in the United Kingdom and beyond. His intention is to expose the misplaced assumptions behind policy making 'for' victims, and to question the 'genuine-ness' of the political primacy attributed to victims. By laying bare such assumptions and the ways in which they restrict efficient policy making, whilst exploring the experiences of victims in informal justice settings, Williams sets out to identify the lessons to be learned in order to address the needs of victims of crime more generally. – British Journal of Criminology
Williams has produced a highly insightful book which introduces the reader to the differing issues of concern in relation to the victims of crime... This book will broaden readers' thinking on the needs of victims- and balances those with the perpetrator's. – Community Care
This book is a very useful addition to the expanding literature on victims and victimology... Williams provides a detailed analysis of community justice, including a useful definition as well as a discussion of the implications for victims... The world of victims and victomology is only just beginning to be explored and, in a sense, this book can be seen as a guide for the researcher to explore what is essentially uncharted territory. – British Journal of Social Work
'Noting that organizations claiming to represent victims have become increasingly visible and vocal, he looks at some of the associated advantages and drawbacks and shows how certain common themes have dominated this area of policy. He proposes a more balanced approach that takes into account both the needs of the victim and the responsibilities of the offender'. – Book News
The book could be read as a whole or each chapter could be dipped into as required. I would recommend it to practitioners who have direct involvement with victims and students of criminology, social work and probation studies. – International Review of Victimology
The book is academic but eminently readable and draws on research from across Western Europe and the English-speaking world to make it a comparative study. It examines community and restorative justice and their implications for victims, considering ways in which the position of victims could be improved without removing the proper rights of defendants. – Magistrate
Dr Brian Williams was Professor of Community Justice and Victimology at De Montfort University in Leicester. He served on the Executive of the British Society of Criminology and was a volunteer training officer for a local Victim Support scheme. He published widely on victims of crime, including (as editor) Reparation and Victim-Focussed Social Work.
Chapter One: Introduction. The Context: victim policy internationally and in the UK since 1964. Chapter Two: Community Justice and its implications for victims. Chapter Three: Restorative Justice and its implications for victims. Chapter Four: Improving the position of victims of crime. Chapter Five: Real improvements for victims of crime. Chapter Six: Conclusions.
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