Book Review: The penal crisis and the Clapham Omnibus: Questions and answers in restorative justice.
253 pp. ISBN 978 1 9043 8047 4
There has always been a temptation to regard restorative justice as an accessory to the conventional process, in which less serious cases may be diverted out of the system, but for more serious ones a restorative process is only available as an addition to punishment.
After two books explaining the theoretical and political case for restorative justice (Cornwell 2006, 2007), the author has drawn up a proposal for basing the whole system on restorative principles. His book is structured in three sections of five chapters, each addressing one of the questions which the ‘man on the Clapham omnibus’ (the lawyer’s stereotype of the ordinary person) would want answered.
A comment on Do Better Do Less: The report of the Commission on English Prisons Today
by Martin Wright
The Commission on English Prisons Today is an independent commission set up in 2007 by the Howard League for Penal Reform. Its 77-page report details the growth in prison population in the UK, accompanied by a rise in the reconviction rate, and aggravated by 49 ‘law-and-order’ laws between 1980 and 2009. By contrast England in 1908-39, and Finland in 1960-2000, have shown that imprisonment can be deliberately reduced with no effect on the crime rate. Scotland is planning to do likewise.
Book Review: Restorative justice: From theory to practice, Holly Ventura Miller, ed.
"Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance" is an annual series published by Emerald Group Pub, Ltd. of scholarly work in criminology and criminal justice studies, sociology of law, and the sociology of deviance. This volume, edited by Holly Ventura Miller, is dedicated to restorative justice.
Martin Wright: We need restorative justice
While these figures do not directly relate to restorative justice, in my opinion they demonstrate the need for it.
May 25, 2009 Correspondent:Martin Wright
Martin Wright: Victims' needs and rights
An ICM survey of 1,085 victims of non-violent crime in the UK, for the Ministry of Justice in England, found that 81% would prefer an offender to receive an effective sentence rather than a harsh one, and nearly two thirds (63%) disagreed that prison is always the best way to punish someone. An overwhelming majority of respondents (94%) said the most important thing to them was that the offender did not do it again. This figure is higher than the last survey in 2006 (91%).
May 19, 2009 Correspondent:Martin Wright
Martin Wright: Review of Peacemaking Circles & Urban Youth: Bringing Justice Home
In 1988 a young woman named Molly Baldwin started working with young people in deprived suburbs of Boston, MA, including many immigrants from the world’s trouble spots. Her programme, Roca (Spanish for ‘Rock’), developed into a place where young people could relate to adults, who support them and help to meet their needs. Seven years ago, Roca adopted the Indigenous practice of holding Circles, in which each person only speaks, in turn, when holding the ‘talking piece’.