Over the last 30 years there has been a steady growth in ‘victim-focused work with offenders’. Yet this phrase itself is vague, conveying little about what such work actually is, and is not. If it conjures any meaning at all, it is most commonly associated with victim awareness or empathy programmes designed to help reduce recidivism by improving offenders’ understanding about the impact of their harmful behaviour on victims. These programmes are often geared towards the perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence and take place during or as part of a sentence. Yet, if victim awareness and empathy interventions were to be taken as a rudimentary definition of victim-focused work with offenders it could easily include a raft of other activities, including restorative justice, victim impact statements, speed awareness courses, copyright piracy campaigns, and a whole host of charitable and outreach programmes working with prisoners, street gangs and youth clubs, and drug users. Whilst many of these activities would not necessarily define themselves in terms of victim awareness and empathy, many contain a clear element of this within their work. This chapter will therefore seek to provide a framework for understanding the range of activities that include victim-focused work with offenders.
Green, S. (2019). Victim-focused work with offenders. In P. Ugwudike, H. Graham, F. McNeill, P. Raynor, F. S. Taxman, & C. Trotter (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Rehabilitative Work in Criminal Justice (502-513). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315102832