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14 W. Criminology Rev. 6 (2013)
Victims as Stakeholders: Research from a Juvenile Court on the Changing Roles of Victims in Restorative Justice

handle is hein.journals/wescrim14 and id is 10 raw text is: Online citation: Wood, William R. 2013. Victims as Stakeholders: Research from a Juvenile
Court on the Changing Roles of Victims in Restorative Justice. Western Criminology Review
14(1): 6-24. (http://wcr.sonoma.edu/vl4nl/Wood.pdf).

http://wcr.sonoma.edu
Victims as Stakeholders: Research from a Juvenile Court on the
Changing Roles of Victims in Restorative Justice
William R. Wood
Griffith University
Abstract: This research analyzes changes made by a juvenile court over five years toward the progressive inclusion of
victims as stakeholders within the implementation and development of restorative justice practices. Beginning in 1999,
the Clark County Juvenile Court (CCJC) in Washington State introduced a Victim Offender Mediation (VOM) program.
Subsequently, the court altered diversion and probation practices in ways that provided several significant services to
victims, and afforded victims increased decision-making capacity. In doing so, the court also amended how offenders
fulfilled their diversion or probation requirements at the court, particularly in relation to its use of VOMs. This research
follows the initial inclusion ofvictims as stakeholders within the use of VOMs beginning in 1999, and explicates how and
where these stakeholder roles were amended over time until 2005, when the court had largely finalized the structure of
victim involvement and participation. The ensuing discussion describes the rationale for the court's changes, and the
effects of these changes on how victims were able to participate and make decisions in both diversion and probation cases.
The paper concludes by discussing the implications of these changes as they involve the role of victims as stakeholders
within restorative justice as used in formal justice settings, and in particular the possible limits of such roles when enacted
through justice agencies such as juvenile courts.
Keywords: juvenile justice, restorative justice, stakeholders, victims

INTRODUCTION
The term stakeholder is often used within
restorative justice to both identify and legitimate the
inclusion of victims into specific restorative interventions
and justice processes (c.f. McCold and Watchel 2003;
Schiff 2007; Zehr and Mika 1998). The questions of who
or what constitute stakeholders, and exactly how victims
should and can be involved as stakeholders, however,
are more oblique within restorative justice (Ashworth
2002; Bazemore and Leip 2000; Miers 2001; Van Ness
1993).  Empirical  research  on   restorative  justice
interventions that involve victims as stakeholders is
widespread (Bradshaw and Umbreit 1998; Coates and
Gehm 1989; Griffiths 1999; Mika et al. 2004; Umbreit
1998; Umbreit, Coates, and Vos 2002), as is literature that

looks more directly at the theoretical implications of
involving victims as stakeholders (McCold 2000; Schiff
2007; Zehr and Mika 1998). Among practitioners, there is
consensus that victims should be able to meet and address
their offenders and should be entitled to the benefits of
restitution or other remunerations.. There is decidedly less
empirical research in restorative justice on how victims
become stakeholders, what this entails in terms of the
agency and decision-making abilities of victims, the
relationship between victims and justice agencies, and the
auspices under which victims are able to act as
stakeholders. Thus, if victims are indeed stakeholders
within restorative approaches to justice, they are not all
stakeholders in the same way or to the same extent across
differing restorative interventions, programs, jurisdictions,
and agencies.

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