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Restorative Justice: key issues

Video on restorative justice.

You might remember Matt Matravers, in the video on desert and deterrence, suggesting that we should be willing to think differently about sentencing and not just be tied to the things we have always done.

‘Restorative Justice’ is a label given to a set of approaches and practices which challenge conventional approaches to sentencing and to criminal justice more broadly. Look at the label – ‘restorative’ – referring to the idea of being restored, or made good again. What restorative justice processes seek to restore are the relationships which have been damaged by offending. Perhaps conventional approaches to sentencing, which focus on punishment exacted on an offender on behalf of society, can’t do this so well, because it can’t effectively have an impact on those relationships with which restorative justice is concerned.

In this video I discuss some aspects of restorative justice – what it is supposed to achieve, how it might be different from orthodox approaches, what it involves. Bear in mind that there is no single uncontroversial rule for what ‘counts’ as restorative justice, but try to get a sense of the principles which inform it.

When you are watching the video, reflect on your intuitions about restorative justice.

Does it sound appealing to you?

What do you like or dislike about it, and why?

Discuss your ideas with your colleagues.

This article is from the free online

From Crime to Punishment: an Introduction to Criminal Justice

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