Restorative justice and transformative justice: Definitions and debates
When it comes to defining RJ, it seems as if the only consensus is that there is no consistent definition. In an attempt to broadly define the concept, Braithwaite writes that “restorative justice is a process where all the stakeholders affected by an injustice have an opportunity to discuss how they have been affected by the injustice and to decide what should be done to repair the harm.” That is, since crime hurts, it should also have a chance to heal.
Review: Crime, Punishment, and Restorative Justice: From the Margins to the Mainstream.
by Eric Assur
This is a unique and thought-provoking book from cover to cover. It is not a review of the brief history of restorative justice (RJ). Rather, it is a projection of just where RJ can take the discipline of criminal justice administration and practice. The author, not your usual academic, dissuades the reader from even using the word paradigm in discussing his ideas. He proposes and supports an integration of contemporary criminal justice approaches with restorative justice elements.
After a death, a time for restorative justice?
An interview with restorative justice advocate, Sujatha Baliga.
Imagine victim and offender sitting across from each other in a small room containing a circle of chairs. There are no bailiffs or guards, just two people, maybe a lawyer and some family members, talking. They discuss ways to right old wrongs that allow both parties to move forward after a crime.
It may sounds like a fantasy, but Sujatha Baliga, who heads the Restorative Justice Project at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, says the practice works, even with the most severe crimes.
Restorative justice, globalisation and the logic of empire
from the chapter by Chris Cunneen in Borders and Transnational Crime:
At the beginning of this century, restorative justice had come to receive a relatively high degree of acceptance in many jurisdictions. By 2002 it found its way onto the United Nations (UN) agenda, when the Economic and Social Council adopted the Basic Principles on the Use of Restorative Justice Programs in Criminal Matters. Restorative justice increasingly appeared to be the answer to a range of crime control problems, ranging from local issues like juvenile offending to international crimes and human rights abuses in transitional societies.
For problems as diverse as child misbehaviour at school and ethnic cleansing and genocide, restorative justice was seen to offer a viable strategy both for satisfying victim needs and for reintegrating offenders. From seemingly humble beginnings as a localized justice strategy to taking a place on the UN’s agenda, restorative justice appeared as an alternative to retributive justice.
I’m not into remorse
Lots of people will ask me about offenders feeling remorse when they go through a restorative conference. Trainee facilitators will ask whether or not I thought a client showed remorse during a pre-conference. People curious about the process will ask if those who have committed crime actually show remorse. The most difficult conversations occur when I talk to a victim of crime about participating. They may ask if the offender has shown remorse in my meetings with him/her.
The danger of compromise
Picture a stand-off between multiple parties.
Perhaps it is between representatives of two nations sitting across a long polished table as they butt heads over a piece of land, or perhaps it is between red-faced members of an organization fighting over a budget item, voices raised, or maybe its kids on a grassy field arguing about which game to play.
In our case, this morning, it was between our 9 yr old son (on sofa, arms crossed, body tight, face scowling) and his dad (on living room rug, visibly slowing down his breathing to be "patient," feet planted firmly).
John Braithwaite video introduction to restorative justice
John Braithwaite is a leader in restorative justice (and in many other fields). He teaches at Australian National University which has now posted an 18 minute video in which he explains the basic theories and applications of restorative justice.
It is well done, and is presented in segments, which means it can be used in whole or in part.