Restorative interventions needed for 97% cases where defendants plead guilt
Not Guilty: Are the Acquitted Innocent? is an excellent new book by Dan Givelber, Northeastern Law School professor, and Amy Farrell Northeastern Criminal Justice School professor.
In this easy to read book, the authors provide valuable information and insights into how judges and juries behave, and how understanding acquittals better (acquittals occur once in every 100 cases) could improve our justice system....
Review: Regulating restorative justice: A comparative study of legislative provision in European countries
Many European countries have taken at least some steps towards incorporating restorative justice in their system, and this book assess how far some of them have gone in formalizing their progress in legislation. The countries represented are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and two neighbours, Israel and Turkey.
Each chapter, after two introductory ones, follows a template giving a legal description and evaluation of restorative processes, and the political and legal understanding of victim-offender mediation and restorative justice. The list of nearly 40 subdivisions, combined with the analysis in the concluding chapter, are in themselves a useful outline of factors that need to be considered by anyone planning to introduce restorative justice or indeed to improve on measures already introduced. There is something to learn from most countries about how to introduce RJ, or in some cases how not to.
Review: The legacy of community justice
Reviewed by Dan Van Ness
There are really two subjects of this collection of articles. One is community justice, which continues to exert influence in the juvenile and criminal justice fields. The second and more important one is Dennis (Denny) Maloney. Denny was an influential, charismatic, larger-than-life leader in the restorative and community justice movement until his untimely death in 2007.
Review: Art in Action: Expressive Arts Therapy and Social Change
By Marian Liebmann
It’s refreshing to see a book which contains many surprising and good techniques using our ‘right brains’ and the whole of ourselves. We spend too much time on ‘left-brain’ activities, planning, writing notes and reports, working out logistics, spending hours in front of our computer screens. This book is about another way of experiencing the world, and of helping many others in the process.
This collection of essays seems to be an outcome of collaboration between staff of Lesley University (in Cambridge, USA and Israel) and the European Graduate School in Switzerland, the only master’s degree course in Expressive Arts in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding. In fact many of the authors are involved in both institutions.
Review: Why Punishment? How Much?
reviewed by Eric Assur
Those interested in restorative justice (RJ) will often only explore the world of the contemporary justice scene through literature which largely reflects on the application of RJ in all of its flavors over the past two or three decades. This punishment collection with a catchy title, edited by a Univ. of Minnesota law professor, looks at the bigger picture with RJ providing one slice of the larger discussion.
Review: Emotions, Crime and Justice
.....Emotions, Crime and Justice is a major step toward a more theoretically and practically nuanced conversation.
As this book reveals in a series of original essays of great range, depth and sophistication, criminology has much to gain by investigating the emotions underlying crime and punishment. The collection spans a range of theoretical, ethnographic and experimental approaches, a range of criminal justice institutions and roles, and a range of cultures (indeed, for many U.S. readers, one of the pleasures of this volume will be the opportunity to become immersed in the criminology literature of the U.K., Australia and New Zealand; all but four of the twenty-two contributors are from non U.S. common law countries).
Review: The Collapse of American Criminal Justice
reviewed by Michael Corbin on Crime and Punishment:
“The rule of law has vanished in America’s criminal justice system.”
That is how Harvard University Press begins its description of last year’s The Collapse of American Criminal Justice--Harvard professor William Stuntz’s magisterial, synoptic look at our country’s system of punishment.
Book Review: The Machinery of Criminal Justice
from the review by Andrew Taslitz on Jotwell:
....Bibas’s new book, The Machinery of Criminal Justice, is so humane and thoughtful an analysis of the reforms needed in our criminal justice system that I find myself drawn to giving him still more good press....
Bibas’s argument turns on three central ideas: (1) the system pretends to a mechanistic efficiency deaf to the emotions and meaningful expressions that undergird any sound system of criminal justice; (2) lawyers and other experts have hijacked the system to serve their own needs, displacing defendants, victims, and even judges; and (3) the political forces at work are skewed toward undue penal harshness and elite control rather than adequately balanced by informed lay participation.
Review: The forgiving life: A pathway to overcoming resentment and creating a legacy of love
by Jacqueline Song, University of the Philippines-Dilman
Justice can be restored in many ways, as the readers of this site are well aware. Sometimes, victims and offenders choose to bring mercy alongside justice as a way to heal from the ravages of injustice. Forgiving and seeking forgiveness together constitute one of these merciful strategies. To forgive is to struggle to rid oneself of resentment and to respond to an offender with goodness. To seek forgiveness includes internal sorrow, a conviction not to repeat the offense, and recompense where appropriate. When one forgives, he or she never condones the wrong and never tosses justice aside. Forgiveness and justice work side by side for good.
Review: Restorative justice in practice: Evaluating what works for victims and offenders.
by Eric Assur
Three British criminology researchers and educators, affiliated with the University of Sheffield, have offered a very rich book on the use of victim-offender mediation programs (what they call schemes) in adult criminal justice venues in England.
Most early Restorative Justice (RJ) writing has focused on juvenile justice programs, generally with a concentration on diversionary approaches for first time offenders. The Shapland, Robinson and Sorsby book looks exclusively and intensely at three ‘schemes’ and several hundred ‘cases’ involving adults. The criminal justice programs they studied were funded by the British Ministry of Justice – Home Office between 2001 and 2008. They worked with adults at arrest, while going through the courts and even with some while imprisoned.