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Topic # 143881 30-Apr-2014 12:31
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Hi all,

Our house was burgled about a year and a half ago, due to my camera set up they were apprehended in the act and have spent the last year and a bit in prison going through the courts etc. I've just now been contacted by some social worker type asking if I'd like to do restorative justice, my first reaction was to say no, why would I want a gang member with more than 50 previous convictions who I put in prison seeing my face and finding out my name, but then she said there was money involved for damages to our property, about 5k I'd get going through this process she reckons, not sure how that works since we were covered by insurance but anyway..

So the question, is it worth the money letting these guys get a visual on me? they could be after revenge, who knows..

Appreciate any knowledge anyone might have in this area :)

Cheers

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  Reply # 1033935 30-Apr-2014 12:42
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Personally (and my first reaction), would be "not interested."
You (and your family) safety come first - fine, it wasnt assault, but who is to say they arent capable of doing that.... or have "friends" who want revenge.
Any money involved would probably be at $5 a week over the next xx years and as you said, insurance has covered everything. Pretty sure the insurance company would scream "fraud" if you were paid out for damages that theyve already covered for you....

Just my 5c - Never been in the situation myself, and wouldnt care to be.





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  Reply # 1033937 30-Apr-2014 12:43
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No experience, but here's I think.

 

  • If the person was likely to be out for revenge, they shouldn't be offering the service in the first place.
  • The goal of the justice system in these cases is reform, that usually only happens when offenders start to see things from the victims perspective.
This looks to provide some good information http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/criminal-justice/restorative-justice

E
dit: Also, this person already knows where you live, so finding out who you are and what you look like is trivial.
Edit-Edit: Inphinity beat me to it...




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  Reply # 1033938 30-Apr-2014 12:44
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It depends. If the details you've given for the offender are correct (>50 previous convictions etc) then I would be hesitant, as it's unlikely them listening to you say that you were upset would change their approach to anything. Unless you've moved, they likely know where you live anyway (I mean, they had to go there to break in, right), so I'm not sure identifying you is much an issue, tbh. I've had a friend who did go through the process, and was pleased with the result, but in that case, it was a first-time relatively young offender who seemed genuinely remorseful for what he'd done. Your mileage may vary. Personally, unless the restorative part is smacking the offender in the face with a bat, I don't think I'd be interested myself. The offender likely has little or no genuine income, and if forced to make payments, will just steal from others to do so, imo.




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  Reply # 1033947 30-Apr-2014 12:58
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harmonist: Hi all,

Our house was burgled about a year and a half ago, due to my camera set up they were apprehended in the act and have spent the last year and a bit in prison going through the courts etc. I've just now been contacted by some social worker type asking if I'd like to do restorative justice, my first reaction was to say no, why would I want a gang member with more than 50 previous convictions who I put in prison seeing my face and finding out my name, but then she said there was money involved for damages to our property, about 5k I'd get going through this process she reckons, not sure how that works since we were covered by insurance but anyway..

So the question, is it worth the money letting these guys get a visual on me? they could be after revenge, who knows..

Appreciate any knowledge anyone might have in this area :)

Cheers


No personal knowledge (fortunately!) but from where will the money come? Surely not the perp, who presumably has none to speak of.

I can't see the point really: what exactly do they hope to 'restore'?

I'm not sure your concern about them seeing you is really too valid: they do, after all, know where you live already...!!





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  Reply # 1033953 30-Apr-2014 13:03
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No experience. It appears either party can exit the process at any time, so there is no commitment to anything just by starting it. The stats I just saw indicate a very high level of victim satisfaction with the process.



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  Reply # 1033956 30-Apr-2014 13:07
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Thanks for the replies everyone, it's generally what I've been thinking, why would someone with so many previous convictions be interested in restorative justice, likely so they can get a lighter sentence, not because they're interested in reform.

A little more info, there were 2 of them, the cops said one of them had more than 50 previous convictions, the other not as many so I'm not sure which one is applying for this, and that they were both jacked up on meth and drugs and it was just a random drive by burglary so they likely wouldn't remember where they were anyway, that's what the cops thought, who knows for sure. I also asked this worker whether the defendants would be paying out this money because it probably would only piss them off more and likely wouldn't come at a great rate, but she said it was paid out by the courts, once again not sure how that works, she kept pushing for an initial meeting to discuss it all.

Appreciate the help though, my thoughts are the safety first approach too.

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  Reply # 1033967 30-Apr-2014 13:22
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If it involved them blindfolded and strapped to a chair with you having a baseball bat then year, sure.





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  Reply # 1033994 30-Apr-2014 13:54
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I saw this doco recently and thought it was quite good:

Restoring Hope: An Indigenous Response To Justice

 

 

A hard-hitting and emotionally charged documentary on the Māori restorative justice model through the eyes of South Auckland based facilitator Mike Hinton.


Now, there may be different formats of restorative justice meetings, so the doco may not perfectly resemble what you've been invited to take part in. Nonetheless, I think it's quite a good watch if you can spare 52 minutes to get a fly-on-the-wall look at the process.

 


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  Reply # 1033998 30-Apr-2014 13:56
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Its unlikely that someone with 50 priors would be offered Restorative Justice, so its likely the second dude with minimal previous.

Here is a desciption from the Min of Justice, There is no harm in meeting with the facilitator seperately to sus out what is going on, and then you can go from there.

http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/r/restorative-justice-for-victims/index

You can pull the pin at anytime, so if you are not happy it will not proceed.

I've seen it work, but the perpatrator usually requires lots of support to get out of their past ways,





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  Reply # 1034003 30-Apr-2014 14:07
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If it were me, I would have the same reservations other's have already expressed, BUT I would also seriously consider it. Even if only a small percentage of these meetings result in the offender reconsidering their choices\actions, that's better than nothing... I note that if you get to the point of a face to face meeting, that means that the offender has agreed to it AND admitted responsibility for the offence.  So it seems unlikely you would get to that point without the offender actually wanting to reform in some way.  (Although the cynic in me wonders if offenders might do this just because it looks good on their record...?)

 

 

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  Reply # 1034107 30-Apr-2014 16:27
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Visual? I wouldn't care if they knew what I looked like.

However, how do you think you'll get the money? $5 a week out of the benefit? Lump sum after his next crime?

 

You'll never see it...

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  Reply # 1034123 30-Apr-2014 16:58
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Sorry to hear that happened to you.

I'd agree with sidefx, if you can spare the time I think you should do it.
I've never been through restorative justice but do know people who have.
They were satisfied with outcome.
Partly because they were able to let go of their own anger when they saw their faceless bogeyman was just a dumb kid who seemed to genuinely regret what he'd done.

I can't tell you if it made any difference to the offender, and doubt you can rely on seeing any money from it – but hope that's wrong.

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  Reply # 1034176 30-Apr-2014 18:14
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Zeon: If it involved them blindfolded and strapped to a chair with you having a baseball bat then year, sure.


As long as ACC is not required to pick up the tab...! ;-)





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