Improved support for victims of a crime
To better aid victims in coming to terms with the fallout of a crime, the government is turning the spotlight on options for restorative justice. Restorative justice offers an opportunity for victims to confront the suspect or convict with the effects that a crime has had on them and for the guilty party to take responsibility. One of the initiatives to increase awareness of such schemes among judges and public prosecutors is the creation of a clear information pack, as Sander Dekker, the Minister for Legal Protection, writes to the Lower House of Parliament.
'The impact of a crime on victims is enormous. On top of punishment, a discussion with the convict about compensation of damages or an order prohibiting contact may be hugely beneficial as well. To facilitate this, we will increase support for and step up the dispensation of restorative justice.'
To increase awareness of restorative justice, the Ministry of Justice and Security will issue a clear information pack and investigate whether there is scope for a central information and reporting centre, for instance to ensure that victim support organisations do not work at cross purposes. In addition, researchers will map out all local and regional schemes and document the cases in which they apply.
Furthermore, the University of Twente and Maastricht University will look into the factors that play a part in reducing recidivism following mediation. HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht has already carried out an investigation into quality criteria for criminal law mediators. The results of these investigations will inform further steps. Finally, the government will clarify existing legislation regarding victims, suspects and mediation.