Tinneke Van Camp

Tinneke Van Camp

Assistant Professor in Criminology at California State University, Fresno. Prior to this position, lecturer at the University of Sheffield, UK. Interests: victimology, restorative justice, fairness.

Location Fresno, California, USA


  • Welcome to the course, Jennifer. I am sorry to hear that you have experienced a serious crime. I hope you will find week 3 on victims' experiences in the criminal justice system insightful.

  • Welcome to the course, Samantha. And thank you for sharing with us - we understand that that is not always easy to do. I hope you will find week 3 on victims' experiences in the criminal justice system insightful.

  • I would not call what you describe restorative justice because it does not (attempt to) involve a victim and it is not about dialogue. It fits more with alternative measures in response to crime. You might find the information in week 6 very useful in this regard.

  • Thank you for sharing this, Tara.

  • That does indeed seem to be the case, Tara.

  • Thank you for sharing this, Sandra.

  • It is correct that in more serious crimes, one needs to pay particular attention to safety and emotional concerns. The role of the facilitator, individual preparation and support for the participants as well as voluntary participation and the possibility to withdraw at any given time are, therefore, key. Such safeguards need to be respected. There is also the...

  • That is very interesting, indeed. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Thank you for sharing this with us, Anne.

  • I am sorry that this came across as stereotyping. There was no intent to stereotype whatsoever. The accents of the actors are merely coincidental. We simply worked with local actors who happen to have a Yorkshire accent.

  • Dear Mark, the studies described in step 4.9. are largely based on comparisons between the criminal justice system and RJ practices. Or were you looking for something more specific?

  • Thank you for sharing this, Moses.

  • This is something that many learners have mentioned. RJ (complementary) does happen in cases of murder, manslaughter and sexual offences in many jurisdictions, but of course only when both victim and offender agree to participate. Communication can be face-to-face or liaised by the restorative facilitator. In my own research, I have interviewed many victims of...

  • Interesting reflections! What you are describing is diversionary RJ, i.e. that takes place instead of the criminal justice proceedings and decision-making, which seems less suitable for more serious offences. But what about complementary RJ, i.e. that takes place alongside the judicial proceedings and does not replace it? Do you think this would work in more...

  • There is information on the effects of RJ in step 4.9.

  • Thank you for that question, Reitha. When there is an outcome agreement and RJ is used as a diversionary measure, compliance with that agreement is to be followed-up as compliance can result in the conviction being spent.

  • In some jurisdictions police representatives are trained to facilitate restorative conferences. Good practice standards then requires them to be neutral. In practice, that is not always easily achieved, but overall, findings seem to suggest that also police-led conferences are perceived as fair by victim and offender.

  • Interesting discussion. Participants are indeed not necessarily looking for an ongoing relationship - it is also not the aim of RJ. Of course, sometimes victim and offender knew each other prior to the offence and RJ might then be about how to interact in the future or how to deal with future chance encounters (will they want to avoid each other or will it be...

  • Thank you for sharing this insight, Richard.

  • As described in 4.9., research demonstrates that participation in complementary restorative interventions is therapeutic for victims, particularly for victims of violent crime.

  • Dear Jacqueline, they did not look at 25 RJ cases, but at 25 studies that examined RJ programmes and these studies had varying sample sizes. They selected the studies based on rigor and quality.

  • Are you referring to RJ in general or to the Community Justice Panels, Wendy? Community Justice Panels only deal with minor offences (i.e. low-level antisocial behaviour and neighbour disputes).

  • In some jurisdictions courts can indeed suggest RJ or have to consider RJ before passing judgment (often in response to youth offending). Upon such court referrals, a restorative facilitator will explore the willingness of victim and offender to be involved. At that point, victim and offender can then refuse to participate, after which the court will be...

  • This is a valid concern indeed, Josianne. In the criminological literature this is referred to as net-widening.

  • That is an interesting point indeed. What is one's community? Should this be a flexible notion, maybe?

  • Dear Gina, there are similar initiatives in the USA as well. See for instance http://www.peacemakingcircles.org

  • Thank you for sharing this insight, Shelley.

  • That is a good question, Carol. RJ meetings can and do take place in prison. Victims do not have to wait until after release.

  • I agree that it is not easy to communicate with someone who has caused hurt. However, victims will never be made to participate. Participation is always voluntary and participants are free to withdraw at any given time. The role of facilitators is very important in this regard. They prepare and support the participants and are there to make sure that everyone...

  • Thank you for sharing this insight, Massah Mary.

  • Thank you for pointing this out to us.

  • Participation in RJ is voluntary, so one will never be made to sit with their offender, and RJ does not have to be face-to-face. It can, of course, not be about intimidating the other, that would indeed not be constructive. That is why preparation and voluntary participation are so important.

  • It is, unfortunately, not that simple. Desistance from crime is not easy to measure. The studies that we draw on in this article are scientifically sound and findings concur with other studies. Each study, of course, has their limits, which is why it is important to repeat them and compare findings.

  • Volunteers are, for instance, recruited through the Community Justice Panels website. Candidates meet with the Community Justice Panel coordinators and successful candidates are offered a place on a training course.

  • You might be interested to read the following: https://www.restorativejustice.org.uk/restorative-practice-schools

  • Are you referring to the Canadian TRC's in response to the residential schools, Gina?

  • Thank you for your questions:
    When RJ takes place prior to sentencing, refusal to participate, no outcome agreement or non-compliance with the agreement might result in the case being referred back to a sentencing judge.
    You will find information on the effect on reoffending in step 4.9.
    Finally, the choice between VOM and conferencing might, for instance,...

  • You might have to skip ahead to step 4.9. for that information, Anita.

  • You will find some information in this regard in step 4.9., Gina.

  • Thank you for sharing your insight into RJ practices!

  • That is an interesting point. The idea is that supporters might encourage and support the offender following the restorative meeting, which might indeed positively affect desistance from crime. The role of the facilitator and preparation of all the participants is of course key, for instance to avoid that the victim might feel overwhelmed (they might also be...

  • Thank you for these interesting comments. You both might find the information in step 4.9. insightful.