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Susan Couch Compensation – Doing the Right Thing

Susan Couch Compensation – “Doing the Right Thing is better than ‘Doing Things Right

“Corrections CEO Ray Smith should be commended for cutting through the adversarial legal system, and making a settlement offer to Susan Couch” said Kim Workman, Director of Rethinking Crime and Punishment. “It is the difference between “Doing the Right Thing” and “Doing Things Right”.

“So often the initial response of government agencies is to deny liability regardless of taxpayer cost, and engage in drawn out legal battles that leave victims seriously debilitated, and the taxpayer seriously out of pocket. Advocates on either side engage in an “ I’m Right – You’re Wrong” legal battle which cancels out any middle ground, and the opportunity to explore the issue in a way which is mutually positive and creative, rather than hostile and destructive.”

“Corrections will no doubt be criticised, and there will be speculation that continuing litigation would have publicly revealed ‘smoking gun’ evidence that would have exposed the faults of the criminal justice system. That should not detract from the CEO’s current action”.

“Imagine a nation in which government agencies, when faced with allegations of wrongdoing, asked three simple questions, “Who was harmed? Was our agency involved? What can we do to heal the harm and put things right?” Instead, the prevailing practise is to say, “We have an allegation of wrongdoing against us. How can we avoid liability?” It is the difference between administering justice, and avoiding it.

“Garth McVicar, Brian Henry and Susan Couch need to be acknowledged for their persistence and courage. I have always been an admirer of the early work that Sensible Sentencing did in promoting victims’ rights. That its focus shifted after a few years from supporting victims’ rights to punishing offenders was unfortunate – they are not the same thing.”
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