Today our justice system has a multitude of options when dealing with those who are convicted of offenses. However, many argue that retributive justice is the only real justice there is. This is mainly because its advantage is that it gives criminals the appropriate punishment that they deserve. The goals of this approach are clear and direct. In his book The Little Book of Restorative Justice, Zehr Howard (2002), illustrates that the central focus of retributive justice is offenders getting what they deserve (p. 30). This reflection paper will first address the advantages of using retributive justice approach in three court-cases. Second, it will discuss the disadvantages of using retributive justice approaches by analyzing the three court-cases listed above. Third, it will elaborate on ways that the system could have used restorative justice processes in the cases, as well as present potential outcomes that could have been reached if restoration justice was taken into consideration.
Batley (2005) stated that restorative justice is about restoring, healing and re- integrating victims, offenders, as well as the society and also preventing further harm. In this assignment, I will be discussing approaches to restorative justice and illustrating their advantages and disadvantages to offending. I will also provide the applications of these five approaches of restorative justice which are retributive approach, utilitarian deterrence approach, rehabilitation approach, restitution approach and restorative approach in the given case study. I will then explain my preferred approach to justice through identifying a personal belief or value that underpins my choice.
When the American prison system began, it was believed that rehabilitation, the act of restoring one’s character, could be beneficial for criminals to start over. According to Tom Wicker, “The system…began as a reform impulse, the idea that if offenders were isolated, shielded from the public mockery that had accompanied hangings and the stocks, given time to repent, and worked hard, they could be turned away from crime and transformed into useful citizens” (xii). Criminals could become better citizens and have a positive outlook for a future if they worked hard and were secluded from the outside world. Although this idea seems more humane, it did not last long in the prison system because many people believed that any crime committed deserved
There are several old ways of solving crime according to many sources, but restorative justice is a type of rehabilitation process which focuses on repairing, and as the word suggest brings restoration. It rebuilds the lives of individuals who are involve in crime. While crime damages a person life, restorative justice repairs it (Office for Victims of Crime, 2000; Morris and Maxwell, 2001). There are three main stakeholders in a restorative justice process, these are the victims, the offender, and the community, therefore when crime is committed restorative justice sees it as an office against people and not against the state.
The theories of Restorative Justice and Utilitarianism seem to have much in common. Both aim to reach a virtuous response to crime, and therefore they are positive and forward looking. Utilitarians argue that punishing offenders crimes are likely to be reduced. Jeremy Bentham identified two objectives for punishment that share the same idea. Specific deterrence and general deterrence purpose are to increase the "price" for a criminal act in order to discourage potential offenders from choosing to commit crimes.
Within the judicial and criminal justice systems, restorative justice is seen as a forward moving process in regards to the way in which the sentencing of offenders is handled (Britto & Reimund, 2013). Restorative justice works to focus on the needs of both the victim and the offender but incorporates the community as well as those who support both the victim and offender (Britto & Reimund, 2013). The approach of restorative justice in not simply a means by which society responds to and reduces crime but instead, provides an equivalently valuable social response to crime (Dancig-Rosenberg and Galt, 2013). Furthermore, the restorative approach places emphasis on the personal and relational harms which were caused by the crime while creating space for dialogue concerning the actual damage, whether directly or
There are many debates on how to punish offenders and how to stop them re-offending. Retribution Theorists believe in the old fashion way of punishment, an ‘eye for an eye’ and that the suffering of the victim should determine the level of punishment, for example if a victim is brutally murdered, the offender should pay the price and suffer from a range of punishments themselves. Therefore the punishments differ to the seriousness to the crime, from theft to murder, minor to serious punishments occur. Whereas a reductivist approach believes that we punish offenders to help them change for the better which would be to rehabilitate them for example. (Cavadino 2013) states that the rehabilitation programs might “facilitate change” rather than
Traditionally, crime has been viewed as a violation against the state. Still too little attention is given to the fact that criminal acts are also violations of the victims and the communities. Punishing and correcting offenders’ criminal behaviors should not only be conducted using the concepts of retribution, incapacitation, and deterrence, it should also be designed to repair the damages done to the victims and the communities. Many benefits are associated with shifting to the restorative justice model, for the victim, the offender, and the community. Restorative justice benefits the victims by giving them a voice regarding the accountability of the offender.
The Effectiveness of Restorative Justice Proponents of restorative justice contend that it is more likely than retributive justice to reduce the incidence of crime because of its central concern for the safety of victims. The studies have demonstrated that restorative justice can have a reductive effect in certain cases and can change the behaviour of offenders. On the whole, however, there is more evidence that restorative justice is effective in reducing either the frequency or severity of reoffending for juveniles than in the case of adult offenders. Conclusion and
Correctional programs are used to make this adjustment do that once a criminal is released back into society, they will not choose the same means to reduce the outside strain caused by certain factors outside their control. I would argue that restorative justice is a facet of rehabilitation. Restorative Justice focuses on alleviating the harm that crime caused to society, the criminal, and the victim. The analogy given in class to explain restorative justice was also recapped in the book. Imagine Lady Justice, scales tilted on one side.
4 Criticism and Challenges The first point of criticism against victim participation in restorative justice processes arises from scepticism about an apology to the victim as a way of dealing with criminal matters. The perception sometimes exists as to it simply being a way to get away with the crime.106 Members of the public should thus be educated to understand that restorative justice is more than a mere saying sorry, but in the context of victim offender mediation or family group conferences it rather affords the victim the opportunity to confront the child offender with the real and human cost of his or her criminal actions. Another concern deals with the possible secondary victimisation of the victim in the case where the offender pretends
B. Restorative Justice There is some theoretical ambiguity in the meaning of Restorative Justice in spite of the many definitions and studies done on the subject. Restorative Justice has been defined as “an ethos with practical goals, among which to restore harm by including affected parties in a (direct or indirect) encounter and a process of understanding through voluntary and honest dialogue.” It is primarily concerned with the reinstatement of victims to life before the crime, restoration of the Offender to a well behaved and lawful life, restoration of the injury caused to the community and the creation of a better society in the present and the future. Restorative Justice is not easily defined because it covers a wide range of practices introduced at different stages of the criminal process, including diversion from prosecution, actions analogous with court decisions and meetings between victims and offenders at any stage of the criminal process. One widely-accepted definition of restorative justice was put forward by Tony Marshall which was also accepted by the United Nations Working Party on Restorative Justice, defined restorative justice as; “a process whereby all parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of an offence and its implications for the future.”
The fundamental basis of the reentry collaboration is that each constituent of the criminal justice system (e.g., law enforcement, the courts, institutional and community corrections) plays a role not only in immediate offender processing and control (e.g., arrest, conviction, incarceration, release), but also in longstanding offender change (e.g., employment, family, mental health, substance abuse, criminality). Since 1999, the Office of Justice Programs has been instrumental in the development of a series of system-wide reentry initiatives, including the Reentry Partnership Initiatives (RPI) (NCJRS, 2002). Many offenders are maxing out and being returned to the community without the supervision through probation or parole; ergo, law enforcement
The United States needs a better approach to how they hand rehabilitation of prisoners young and old. One of the questions is “can everyone be rehabilitated?” Another question is “should everyone be?” And finally “how should they be?” These are all important questions when it comes to the subject of