CRJ340/Restorative and Community Based Justice
January 25, 2013
Restorative justice has been gaining ground since 197 when it was used in a case in Canada. This practice allows the victim to meet face to face with the offender and possibly release some anger and move on from the incident. After gaining more ground, today we see Victim Offender Reconciliation Programs across the country trying to help victims after a crime has been committed against them. In this essay we are going to discuss the origins of the modern restorative justice movement, explain how the principles and practices of restorative justice relate to its historical, theological, and social-work roots, describe how restorative practices, including re-integrative shaming, differ from retributive practices, including both the philosophical and practical differences.
Origins of Restorative Justice Movement
Restorative justice movement is portrayed as either on the fringe of legal practice or making a new movement but has been around since the eleventh century in the western states. This movement has become more popular since the 1970’s and continues to gain ground today. Restorative justice today is not about forgiveness nor is it mediation, not designed to reduce recidivism or repeating offenses, and is not a particular program or a blueprint. Restorative justice is also not an alternative to going to jail and does not mean it is the opposite of retribution. Restorative justice is simply about getting victim face to face with offenders and trying to get some relieve or unanswered questions answered. The principles and practices of restorative justice relate to the historical development of restorative justice dating back to the eleventh century England when a crime was viewed as a violation of one person to another. These views were aimed to see what kind of harm was done, who was hurt and who was responsible for the act. After the Norman invasion on Britain there was a paradigm shift where fines that were paid to victims now went to the state and were useful. Today when an offender is charges with a crime and is ordered to pay a fine that person must pay the fine to the court that uses the money to supplement the cost of the trial and other legal fees. The principles also date back to numerous indigenous cultures throughout the world who believed that all things are interconnected and when a crime is committed it breaks that connection. This is still true in today’s society as we are seeing a rise in crime and the number or retaliatory attacks on offenders. Restorative vs. Retributive
Re-integration shaming is the process of differentiating between the crime committed and the person who has committed the crime. This process allows a criminal to accept responsibility for the crime they have committed and allow them to reenter a lawful society. By doing this the criminal understands what they have done wrong, learn from their mistake and live a life without crime. Restorative justice and retributive justice differ slightly in the way they are viewed and how criminals are punished. Restorative justice says a crime is an act against a person and the community where retributive justice says a crime that has been committed is against the state and a violation of law.
Retributive justice is a means to inflict pain on the offender by placing them in jail, on probation or community service. These practices allow the criminal to hurt for the crime they have committed against another person or the state. In restorative justice the criminal still faces jail time, probation or community service but is allowed to meet with the victim to come to a resolve on the crime committed. This allows the criminal a chance to answer some unanswered questions as well as meet the victim in a more personal matter. Both practices are effective in their own respective ways can lead...
References: Zehr, Howard. The Little Book of Restorative Justice (Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2002)
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