Restorative justice: Program aims to increase victim empathy in offenders

A five-day programme for convicted offenders has been shown to be effective in increasing their levels of concern for their victims and motivation to change. The Supporting Offenders through Restoration Inside (SORI) programme, which has been piloted in seven prisons across the UK, is the subject of a study published in the journal Criminological and Legal Psychology today.


SORI aims to increase victim empathy in offenders and motivate them to change their offending behaviour and take responsibility for the harm they have caused. It consists of a one-day taster programme to help offenders decide whether they want to attend the full four-day victim awareness course, and introduces the principles of restorative justice


The rest of the SORI course includes role-plays in group-work settings and individual exercises to encourage victim empathy in offenders.