An Evaluation of the Restorative Justice Model In Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology, Karmen (2015) outlines the restorative justice model of confronting perpetrators of criminal acts. Restorative justice is an alternative to the more traditional legal system of retributive justice; this model strives to increase communication between victim and offender and moves the focus away from offender punishment or other state-centered actions (Karmen, 2015). The restorative justice model has several benefits, including a greater level of focus on crime victims and an emphasis on making peace after a criminal event, such that an offender may reintegrate into society at large (Karmen, 2015). Restorative justice also allows for crime victims
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.
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.
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.”
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
I believe that restorative justice could be a good idea for the United States if it is used correctly. I think that if restorative justice is used correctly, it could really benefit everyone involved: the victim, offender, family, and the community. Some of the restorative justice ways can also help victims move past what has happened to them and live a more normal life again. I think restorative justice would also benefit the United States because it can help the offender have a better life after.
Restorative Justice past practices and activities that are popular within the Restorative justice movement are Prisoner rights and alternatives to prisons, which is a program to change prison condition and minimize incarceration sentencing, Conflict Resolution is a program that creates neighborhood justice centers available to the community. The Victim offender Reconciliation program (VORPs) is a meeting between the victim and the community, Victim-Offender Mediation (VOMS) is mediation between the victim and the offender, Victim Advocacy is the victim rights group which focused on the efforts for restitution for the crime. The family group conferences (FGCs) allow the victim and family and the offenders to meet. The Sentencing Circle includes
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.
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
This type of justice system is designed very differently when compared with the retributive justice system. The restorative justice system endeavours to bring the victim and the offender together and allow them to speak with each other in the hopes to support the healing process. It will enable the victims to express themselves to the offender and lets the offender apologize and express their feelings to the victim. The restorative justice system often offers the victims of crime closure. The system encourages both parties to reveal themselves to each other and develop a solution for the future to satisfy both parties involved.
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.
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.
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
Good Morning Michelle, It was a pleasure speaking with your this morning in regards to your expressed interest in our Criminology & Restorative Justice Studies program here that we offer at Fresno Pacific. Our criminology program focuses on the study of criminal justice practices rather than the implementation of law enforcement. This program incorporates the values of a Christian worldview into a deeper knowledge about crime and society. In this program, you will be able to gain and expand your understanding not only to justice, but as well as the social and psychological theories of crime, criminals and society. While in this program, a practicum is integrated throughout the process being able to provide you with hands-on experience and