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Monday, October 9, 2006

New Program Gives Arizona Prisoners the Victim's Perspective

From azcentral.com: The Arizona Prsion System has started a pilot program to show inmates the impact of their crimes and to help them see the consequences from a victim's perspective.

Officials say the voluntary program not only could prevent inmates from committing new crimes when they are released but also be healing for victims. The program, called the Impact of Crime on Victims, is being piloted in six of Arizona's 10 prisons. It is expected to go statewide by the end of the year.

The program is part of a larger Restorative Justice initiative that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime and is becoming increasingly popular at prisons across the country. The idea is to create a different way of thinking about crime and to have offenders take responsibility for their actions and make amends for the harm they caused.

"For the inmate, it is frequently quite startling," state Corrections Director Dora Schriro said. "They begin to appreciate that their conduct has had profound impact on others, and it has not been good, and it lasts a long, long time." Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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