Crime victims' perceptions of restitution: the importance of payment and understanding

Violence Vict. 2008;23(6):697-710. doi: 10.1891/0886-6708.23.6.697.


The Office for Victims of Crime recommends that victims should be informed, consulted, respected, and made whole, rights that relate to informational, procedural, interpersonal, and distributive justice. We surveyed 238 victims in two Pennsylvania counties to test whether crime victims' satisfaction with the criminal justice system was related to their perceptions of the fairness of the process and of their outcomes in their case, particularly with regard to restitution. Results indicated that payment of restitution, perception of fair process, and good interpersonal treatment were positively related to victims' willingness to report crimes in the future but that satisfaction with information about the process was not. Victims' understanding of the restitution process was a significant predictor of willingness to report in a multivariate analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Crime Victims / economics*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Law Enforcement / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction / economics*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Pennsylvania / epidemiology
  • Social Perception
  • Spouse Abuse / economics*
  • Spouse Abuse / rehabilitation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires