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Reform the Criminal Justice System to serve the victim

Comment 6th August 2010

Change sentencing to prefer restitution to the victim, over prison and community sentences.

This would obviously not apply to extremely violent crimes i.e. rape or murder, in which case the public needs to be protected.

Why does this matter?

Currently, the criminal justice system works too hard to punish the criminal, rather than to give any compensation to the victim.

If somebody steals my car, or causes me minor physical damage in a heated argument, or breaks my window, the likelihood of them having to replace the car or window, or pay for the time I have to take off work unpaid, is very low.

Instead of a criminal justice system which aims to give the media a good story, I think that it would be better to have one which aims to give the victim a way to rebuild their life from the damage caused by the criminal.

I am not arguing to replace all prison sentences. Instead I am arguing to replace a system whereby the criminal pays the government with one where the criminal pays the victim. Of course, they would still have to pay court fees.

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