Contemporary Justice Review: Issues in Criminal, Social and Restorative Justice vol:13 issue:3 pages:239-267
Despite the encouraging results of public opinion assessments on restorative justice, people are not likely to spontaneously suggest restorative measures after a crime. Restorative justice thus seems in need of a public relations strategy. This paper discusses the strategy labeling victims as the universal remedy to promote restorative justice, and the proposal of promoting restorative justice through the media by foregrounding crime victims in media reports on crime. This strategy stems from a belief that the most appealing aspect of restorative justice to the public is its thoughtfulness to victims. However, I will argue that there are three problems with this approach. These concern (1) the victim’s position in both restorative justice theory and practice, (2) the characteristics of media reporting on crime in general and victims in particular, and (3) the risk of attaining a result opposite to the initial objective (i.e. increasing punitive attitudes instead of promoting restorative justice).